Internet Security Advice for Business Travellers
Whatever kind of traveller you are, there is an understanding that travelling can pose a threat to your cyber security. Business travellers, who are likely to be carrying sensitive data on an assortment of devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, are especially susceptible to these internet security risks.
Simple measures can be taken in order to ensure greater internet safety while travelling. The following are a number of useful tips for any business traveler desiring to securely protect their personal and business-related data while on the go.
Lock your devices:
Locking devices using a passcode or fingerprint ID is the first step in defending your information against cyber threats. When travelling, changing these passcode numbers frequently could be a good idea to ensure greater protection.
Encrypting devices, data, calls, social networks, chats, and everything else in your cyber world protects your data. If you cannot encrypt something for reasons such as laws of other nations, at least protect every device and account with a strong password.
Beware of public Wi-Fi:
However convenient public Wi-Fi may seem at times, perhaps coming to your rescue at times when you are most in need of some available internet, public Wi-Fi can be especially susceptible to security breaches. Business travellers should steer clear of unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, including those found in cafes and free Wi-Fi hotspots.
Updating passwords regularly is valuable advice to any internet user, and particularly relevant to travellers. Before travelling, change passwords that you regularly use and never recycle one of those same passwords for a PIN for a safe or security box in a hotel room. A mixture of lower and upper case, numbers and symbols if possible, is a recognised secure way to
Update anti-virus software:
Installing anti-virus software on your devices before traveling is a critical measure of protection. Check also that the software is current and well trusted.
Avoid shared computers:
Shared computers are perfect targets for criminals, making it a simple matter to steal your information. In the instance that you must use a shared computer, avoid sharing any information on that computer. Employ two-factor authentication when logging into accounts.
Make sure that you always use a secured connection to sites. Simply having "https:" instead of "http:" at the beginning of the browser's URL bar can protect you from a large variety of potential threats.
Shut down devices:
Shut down, or at the very least, switch off the wireless connection of your devices when you are not using them. Keeping the wireless connection off prevents hackers from accessing your device if it is connected to an open network or through any other connection.
Travel with minimal data:
When you travel, make sure to only take with you the data that you will actually need. Everything else can be stored safely back home on an external drive. If the data is in the cloud but you do not need it, resist from actually accessing it while traveling, in case the network you are using is not secure.
Take loaner devices:
If data security is of the utmost priority to your company, this may be an ideal option. The IT department of your business would loan you a clean laptop or smartphone for your trip. This loaner would then be better protected if it were misplaced or stolen, as the IT department would be able to guard the data more easily.
Further potential security measures:
Other small measures you can take to ensure greater cyber security during traveling (and everyday life) include:
- Update operating systems - If your operating systems (and phone apps) are up-to-date, your data is usually more secure.
- Disable Bluetooth - Leaving Bluetooth on can actually make it possible for assailants to connect to or even hack into your phone.
- Disable auto-connect - If your device has a setting that instructs it to automatically connect to Wi-Fi, turn this setting off to avoid accidentally connecting to untrustworthy networks.
- Cover your laptop's camera with a piece of tape - This is an expensive measure that can stop a hacker.
- Keep your devices with you - Even leaving devices in a hotel room renders them more vulnerable, so keep them on hand.
- Run a security check when you get home - Check your devices thoroughly for any malware or viruses it may have picked up while traveling.
Consider the sensitivity of your personal and business-related information and keep this in mind as you travel. Be cognizant of your surroundings and of any ways that your data may be vulnerable. Keep your devices with you and under a close watch.
Consider this advice and rest easier during your business travels knowing that you are less at risk from cyber threats. Protecting your data is simply a matter of basic internet security habits and common sense. Another effective way of safe-guarding your peace of mind is by taking out a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Check out the business travel insurance page for more information on how a travel insurance policy could help you, should your business materials become compromised.
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