When travelling, whether for work or for fun, we bring smart phones and devices with us on the trip. That’s the always-connected life some of us lead!
So we thought to point out some ways we can protect ourselves against cyber threats, and other travel hazards. After all, nobody wants to spend time worrying about a stolen laptop or a misplaced cell phone. So, here’s our top-down list from most-important to important:
1. Make sure all your information is backed up
Bringing your device on a trip is always risky for a number of reasons. Before you leave, make sure to back up all of your stored data on another device or a cloud service in case something goes wrong. This way you can ensure you don’t lose your information permanently. And remember that if you do carry sensitive information, the border police have the right to inspect your devices and data.
2. Keep your device locked
Enough said, turn on the locking feature on your device! Whether it’s with a fingerprint, face recognition or a unique pin number, keep it on with auto-locking enabled. PIN numbers aren’t the best, but in many cases something is better than nothing.
3. Don’t use public wireless hotspots at airports or hotels
Avoid connecting to any public Wi-Fi hotspots you might find at the airport. While it’s tempting to check your email or get some work done while you wait for your flight, using a public hotspot is dangerous as it makes it easy to steal personal and financial information stored on your device.
For the same reason – whether you are staying at a hotel or an Airbnb – before connecting to Wi-Fi hotspot, make sure that the connection is secured with a password, and using a VPN might be a good idea. Heed the warning messages from your devices about security certificates and proxy connections.
4. Turn on remote wiping
Before you leave for your trip, know what to do in case your device is stolen: (a) Keep your cell phone providers number written down and on hand, so you can reach them (b) Enable device location (c) Enable remote wipe.
Did you know that your service provider can also remotely wipe your device?
5. Upgrade your passwords
While you are on your trip, try and change your passwords from a secure connection. Ensuring passwords are unique and complicated will make it harder to break into all your devices if you use different passwords for different use.
6. Always store your device in a safe place
Make sure there is a safe place to keep your device when traveling and when leaving your device behind, lock it up. Hotel rooms offer a safes, so use this to store your device. Leave your phone in the room is not a great idea either, so lock it, hide it well, or lock it in your suitcase.
7. Disable auto-connect
For ease, people often allow their devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks to avoid having to look for a connection during their travels. While it’s useful if you’re at work or at home, it’s not a safe option when traveling to other cities and countries.
8. Check and update the software, Apps and system software on devices your devices
Keeping your devices up-to-date helps ensure their ability to defend against hacks and malware. The frustration of having to update the system and apps on your device can be reduced or eliminated by enabling automatic updates, but it’s always a good idea to check before taking it on a trip.
9. Use privacy screens
Using a privacy screen on your devices can help ensure protect against people with wandering eyes and from secretly looking at what you may be working on. Although privacy screens are uncommon on smartphones, next time when getting a screen protector, try to see if you can get one with privacy built in.