Electronic devices have become an essential part of our daily lives. We use them for work, communication, and entertainment. So naturally, we often take our devices with us when traveling. Whether for work or personal use, cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other devices are by our sides. However, traveling with our devices also means we need to be aware of the risks associated with cyber attacks and theft. Therefore, it is crucial to take necessary precautions to protect your personal data and electronic devices. In this blog, we will cover the online privacy and cybersecurity concerns associated with travel, as well as share tips to ensure your devices are secured properly.
Before You Go
Before embarking on a trip, it is essential to secure your electronic devices and personally identifiable information. Here are some steps you can take:
- Back up files and remove sensitive data – Before traveling, make sure to back up all your essential files and documents to a secure location, such as an external hard drive or cloud storage. Also, remove any sensitive data collected through online activities, such as bank statements, credit card information, or personal identification documents.
- Install strong passwords and confirm antivirus software is up-to-date – Ensure that all your electronic devices have strong and unique passwords. This should be done at all times, but traveling can be used as a reminder stay on top of this. Additionally, update and confirm that your antivirus software is up-to-date to protect against malware and other cyber threats.
While traveling, it is crucial to be vigilant about your surroundings and device usage to protect your electronics and data. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Be vigilant about surroundings and device usage – When traveling, be aware of your surroundings and avoid using your devices in public areas. It is best to use them in private, secure areas such as hotel rooms or business centers.
- Keep devices secure in public places – When using your devices in public places, be sure to keep them close to you at all times. Never leave them unattended, and avoid placing them on a table or chair where someone can quickly grab them.
- Consider using a privacy screen on laptops – If you must use your laptop in public areas, consider using a privacy screen to prevent others from viewing your screen. This is especially important if you are working with sensitive information.
Traveling with electronic devices comes with its own set of risks. Therefore, it is crucial to take necessary precautions to protect your data and devices while traveling. By following these steps before and during your trip, you can help ensure security.
Public Wi-Fi Risks
Using public Wi-Fi networks can be a convenient way to stay connected while on the go, but it also comes with significant risks. Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, which makes them easy targets for hackers and cybercriminals. When you connect to a public network, you risk having your personal or work data stolen or compromised. To stay safe when using public Wi-Fi, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid accessing sensitive information – Avoid accessing sensitive information, such as bank account details or personal identification information, when connected to a public Wi-Fi network. Cybercriminals can easily intercept your data, which can lead to identity theft and financial loss.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) – A VPN creates a secure connection between your device and the internet, encrypting your data and making it difficult for cybercriminals to steal your information. Consider using a reputable VPN service to stay safe when connected to public networks.
- Check the network name – Verify the name of the Wi-Fi network before connecting. Cybercriminals often create fake Wi-Fi networks with names that sound legitimate to lure unsuspecting users into connecting to their network. Be sure to connect only to reputable and known networks.
Using Public Equipment While Traveling
When traveling, it’s tempting to use public equipment, such as computers and printers, to save time and money. However, it’s essential to avoid using public equipment for sensitive communications. Public equipment can be compromised, and cybercriminals can easily steal your data as a result. If you must use public equipment, make sure to log out of all accounts and clear the browsing history when you’re finished. It’s also essential to avoid downloading any files or attachments from public equipment to avoid the risk of downloading malware.
When You Get Home
After returning from a trip, it’s important to update your security software and change passwords on all devices used or obtained abroad. Cybercriminals can install malware on your devices, which can go undetected for weeks or even months. Therefore, it’s crucial to update your security software and run a full virus scan to detect and remove any malware. Additionally, changing your passwords is critical to protect against data breaches and hacking attempts. Change all passwords used on devices that were taken on the trip or accessed while traveling, including email accounts, social media profiles, and financial accounts. Another option for this would be to use a password management software to help protect your passwords and accounts better. In conclusion, staying safe while traveling requires taking the necessary precautions to protect your devices and data. Avoid using public Wi-Fi when possible, be cautious when using public equipment, and update your passwords and security software when you return home. By following these tips, you stand a better chance of staying cyber safe and protecting your information from cybercriminals.
At EVERNET Consulting, we are dedicated to helping our clients with their cybersecurity needs. We work diligently to find the solutions that best fit the needs of your business. Whether you’re looking for IT support, software recommendations, or guidance on how to protect your devices before traveling, we are here to help. Let’s schedule a discovery call and see how we can help you work smarter, not harder.
Eric is a Business IT cybersecurity advisor, consultant, manager, integrator, and protector who founded EVERNET in 2007. Eric co-hosts a podcast called “Finance and Technology Insights by Brian & Eric” on YouTube. Eric is a regular contributor to the EVERNET blog, writing about the latest technology news and providing his expertise in cyber security prevention and management. Meet with our CEO and say goodbye to one-size-fits-all IT support and cybersecurity.