The holiday season will soon be upon us. Cyber security for travel is important, so, before you step foot out the door to take off on your holidays, take a moment to secure your digital devices and keep your personal data out of cybercriminal hands. After all, you are more vulnerable to cyber risks when you’re traveling due to and not having the same safe guarding controls in place as you would at home or in the office.
Here are eight tips to keep you cyber-safe while you’re away from home.
Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi
While it might be tempting to connect to public Wi-Fi at your favourite eatery, hotel or airport, doing so opens the door for hackers to access personal information on your device while you’re using a shared network. In this vulnerable situation, a hacker, acting as a man in the middle, can gain access to all information from your internet activity such as online payment info, emails, login credentials and photos. It also provides an avenue for threat actors to distribute malware on your computer. Once a hacker has your personal info, they can act on your behalf and log in to your personal accounts.
Instead of using public internet services use your own personal hotspot connection or tether to your phone.
If you must use public WiFi then use a Secure VPN
Turn to a VPN to maintain a secure connection while you’re on the go and away from your home or office network. A VPN will encrypt your website traffic, so hackers can’t see the sites you’re browsing—making you a harder target for hackers who are looking for an easy victim.
If you must use public WiFi, then trigger a Secure VPN back to your corporate firewall to get under its protective umbrella as soon as possible
The “man in the middle” can still see all your traffic, but its secure, so they can’t read it.
Protect Digital Devices
Activate “find my phone” feature before you leave. Turning on this feature will allow you to find or access your device remotely if it gets lost or stolen. Take care to always keep your device with you when you’re in a shared space.
Lock Your Devices and Turn Off Location Services
Keep your device locked at all times using a unique password or fingerprint as an extra layer of defence against security breaches. Adding a privacy screen to your laptop and mobile phone is another great option that will restrict what bystanders see.
Don’t Disclose Your Whereabouts
It’s natural to want to share holiday photos and the details of your trip via your favourite social media channels. However, doing so makes you a running target to thieves who may be stalking your location, making it easy for them to break into your house or hotel. Turn off location sharing on your phone and make sure photos aren’t tagging your location. It’s always safest to post about your adventures after you return home to maximize your privacy and security.
This includes the seemingly obligatory “Airport Cocktail” photos!
Back Up Your Data
Take a moment to back up your data to another device or cloud storage before you head out. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your data is tucked away safely if you lose your device or encounter a data breach.
Do a Software Update
Make sure your device’s operating system and apps are fully up to date. Updating your device’s operating system will patch security weaknesses, fix bugs, add new features and shield you from hackers looking to exploit an outdated and vulnerable security flaw.
Beware of Skimmers
Credit card skimmers are card readers attached to legitimate gas pumps, ATMs, and other payment station card readers to steal credit card info as soon as you swipe to pay. Criminals can also hover a skimmer device over your wallet to extract credit card data. Using an RFID-blocking card holder will provide a protective barrier between your card and the skimmer. On physical card readers, be on the lookout for signs of tampering such as mismatched colours or materials near the screen, card slot and keypad and avoid swiping if something looks suspicious.
As the digital landscape grows, so does the attack surface and the unique cyber risks travellers face. With a good cyber security mindset and cyber safety tips in hand, you’ll be better prepared to safeguard your data no matter where you’re heading. Better yet, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy time with friends and family while keeping hackers away from your holiday plans.
I hope these tips help keep you safe on your travels.
As always if you need any advice or help please give us a call.
0113 532 9800