Cybersecurity Safety While Traveling

Cybersecurity When Traveling

Packing, getting a haircut and shopping are just a few things you do to prepare for a vacation. Once you leave for the airport, in a car, on a bus or the train, there are some routine safety habits you should follow to ensure information security while on the go. One thing most people forget is cybersecurity preparation. Our phones and laptops can tell us where to go or quench our boredom when traveling, but you must be safe when using a laptop or phone. Staying safe on the go is your goal, and that includes cybersecurity.

Our devices carry personal information about us, our family, and our friends, such as our contacts, photos, videos, location, health, and financial data. It’s easy to connect to a public wireless connection in airports, on trains, or on buses, but that may not always be the safest option. Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, meaning anyone can potentially see what you are doing when you are connected. Make sure to limit what you do on your device when connected to a public network. It is also important to prepare before you leave to prevent issues.

What To Do Before You Leave:

For starters, if there is an electronic device with personal information on it that you won’t be using, leave it at home. For the devices you are bringing, protect yourself by backing up your electronic files, says Forbes. If someone can hack into your device and shut it down or makes sure you can’t get access to your files, you won’t have to worry about losing everything. Next, remove sensitive data. Now that your device is backed up there is no need for sensitive information to be on it. This limits the chance of anyone being able to steal important information. It is suggested that you create a strong password. If you are someone who doesn’t use a password during your everyday life, that’s okay, but for traveling, it is advised that you create a strong password for the duration of your trip. Lastly, ensure your anti-virus software is up to date; doing this can ensure hackers cannot access your system and steal your information.

If you know you need to access a secure connection while on the go, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot. VPNs are an affordable option available as a download from your phones App Store.

What To Do While Traveling:

Most importantly, be vigilant about your surroundings, the people next to you, and where you are. According to Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, when in an airport, hotel, restaurant, train, or bus, ensure your device is in a secure place, like a pocket with a zipper close to your body where you can keep your eye on it. Make sure no one is watching you on your device, trying to see your password, or stealing your information. If you feel like someone may be doing this, report it and sit somewhere else. It is always encouraged to use a privacy screen.

What To Do When You Get Home:

Once you get home, update your software and change all your passwords. If you connected to local networks while traveling, your phone may be susceptible to malware, so it is crucial to update your software.

For more information and tips visit our Cybersecurity Center here.