Traveling (particularly abroad) poses some significant cybersecurity threats. Business travelers are particularly susceptible because they often carry sensitive data on a variety of devices. Being proactive and vigilant are the keys to keeping your devices, and data, safe. Here are the top security tips for business travelers or for anyone traveling with their electronic devices.
Lockdown the device.
Most smartphones, laptops, and tablets come equipped with security settings that will enable you to lock the device using a PIN number or fingerprint ID. While traveling, you should change the PIN numbers you regularly use and, in the event, that any of your devices have been momentarily misplaced or forgotten, this will be the first line of defense against a security breach.
Enable two-factor authentication for all online accounts and change your passwords.
Having a dynamic code that is generated spontaneously and delivered via a trusted route will help to overcome some of the inherent vulnerabilities of a static password and increases the likelihood that your account will stay safe even if your password is compromised.
You should also change your regularly used passwords before traveling to help keep them safe. Similarly, if you must create a PIN for a safe or security box in a hotel room, make sure it’s unique and not something you commonly use. Once you return home, you can change all the passwords back.
Re-think location sharing.
Many of us update social networking sites as we travel. The problem with this type of sharing is that it generates a security threat at home. By signaling your location as being out and about, you make it easy for a criminal to determine that you’re not in your hotel room or at your home, leaving your personal spaces vulnerable to a physical intrusion. Limit the information you post online about your specific whereabouts to limit these threats to your personal property.
Be cautious of public Wi-Fi + disable auto-connect.
Free Wi-Fi access can be very appealing but is also particularly vulnerable to security issues. The best practice is to avoid unencrypted Wi-Fi networks altogether and ask your hotel about its security protocol before connecting to the Web using their Wi-Fi. Be extra cautious of using Internet cafes and free Wi-Fi hotspots and if you must use them, avoid accessing personal accounts or sensitive data while connected to that network.
In addition, most devices have a setting that allows a device to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks as you are in range. While this is a convenient feature when used at home or for trusted networks, it’s not something you should allow while traveling. Make sure to change this setting before you set out so that your smartphone and laptop must be manually connected each time you wish to access the Web.
Disable Bluetooth connectivity.
Just like your phone’s automatic Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity can present problems. Bluetooth signals can come from anywhere. If your Bluetooth is left on, nearby criminals can connect to your phone and potentially hack into your device. Keep Bluetooth disabled as much as possible while traveling.
Install anti-virus protection + update operating systems.
This is one of the most simple and effective ways you can protect your data and personal information, keeping it secure while traveling. In addition to using a trusted brand of anti-virus software, make sure that you keep it updated as updates and patches are critical to the effectiveness.
Just like your anti-virus software, you should keep your operating system as current as possible. This also goes for apps on your phone; take special care to update apps that you regularly use to conduct financial or personal business.
Braver offers quarterly cybersecurity training to keep you up to date on the latest threats and precautions you can take to survive the cyber jungle. By keeping yourself educated and taking steps to be secure before and during your business travels, you can greatly reduce your risk of suffering a cyber attack.
Every day, your business depends on information technology (IT) to operate. Thank you for letting us be there for you. Braver Technology Solutions | WeMakeITWork@BraverTechnology.com
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