10 Tips to Stay Cyber-Safe While Traveling

With the summer season approaching, many people are preparing to relax and take a (much needed) vacation. And while there is a horde of information about traveler safety ranging from wearing slash-proof bags to traveling in groups, not much is said about cyber safety while you’re away. In today’s technological world, staying cyber-safe and aware is increasingly important. Here are 10 tips to help you stay safe this season when traveling.

 1. Don’t Automatically Connect to Wi-Fi in Public Spaces

  • Take precaution when connecting to Wi-Fi and check to see that you are connecting to the right, safe Wi-Fi in your hotel or airport. Scammers have created fake Wi-Fi hubs to trick travelers into giving up credentials
  • Usually, cybercriminals will name the fake network something close to the actual network to trick you into joining. These are called “evil twins” because they look like the correct network, but are in fact, malicious (e.g. RocusHotels vs RocusHotelsFree)
  • Only connect to safe, secured networks that you can trust. Don’t automatically connect to Wi-Fi in public spaces
  • Check with airport, hotel, coffee shop, etc. staff to ensure you are on the right network
  • Usually hotel wifi networks will require a password in order to join

 2. Utilize Two-Factor Authentication and Keep your Phone Locked

  • If you’re not using your device, lock it, it only takes a second and it could save you money and stress
  • Use two-factor authentication for websites and apps that host sensitive information
  • There are options available on some smartphones and computers to lock down and erase data after a certain number of failed attempts. Some phones will take a picture of who tried to unlock your phone, giving you a face to identify

 3. Update Your Devices

  • Keeping your devices updated will help improve your device’s ability to defend against malware, and to patch any potential areas for risk

 4. Back Up your Information

  • Back up any necessary information like contacts, pictures, and other data in the event something was to happen. If you back up your information and files to the cloud, in the event your phone was wiped, your files will still be safe

 5. Don’t Bring Work on Your Trip Unless Necessary

  • Working in an unsecured environment can be dangerous, putting sensitive information at risk
  • Be sure to check your office’s policies on bringing work outside of the office, some will not allow it

 6. Avoid Using Public Computers

  • This goes along with the previous point, as well as being good general cybersecurity hygiene. Public computers are not as secure as personal, and your information may be at risk
  • Especially avoid using public devices to conduct activities such as financial transactions, such as banking or shopping

 7. Protect Your Devices

  • Keep your devices on you at all times when in airports, taxis, conferences, and hotel rooms
  • Consider purchasing an alarm or lock for your device or bag to secure your device and protect against thieves. Many websites and stores sell locks that TSA can unlock if they need to inspect your bag, but deters thieves and pickpockets
  • Utilize hotel safes for an extra level of safety
  • Don’t leave your devices sitting out, or draw attention to them, and consider carrying them in an inconspicuous bag

 8. Turn off Bluetooth When Not Using It

  • Bluetooth enabled devices can be hacked into
  • To avoid this, turn off your bluetooth when you are not using it

 9. Keep Passwords Updated

  • Passwords are key to a secure device. Install passwords on your devices and sensitive apps, and keep it current. Change the password before leaving and when you return home to ensure that you are protected. For help picking a secure password, check out some of our tips

 10. Be Wary of Traveler Apps

  • While apps are often great, useful tools, they can also be harmful. You may want to download a translator app, or one for a museum or attraction, but pay close attention to what you are downloading and putting your information on. It could be a deceptive way for a hacker to get your data

We wish you a safe, happy travel season! If anything were to happen, please contact the proper authorities and report the crime.

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