Yep, we know the score and we’ve been there too. We’ve stood firmly in your shoes (or more likely flip flops) and felt the same feeling of abandon, freedom and frivolity that travelling brings. The story the world over is the same; being abroad and on holiday is a time to let your hair, and your guard, down. And just as technology has made travel so much easier, it’s also made cyber security when you’re on the go a very real concern. With this in mind, here are 5 IDEAL cyber security tips for travellers.
PUBLIC WIFI PRECAUTIONS
Without the energy or desire to invest in a sim card, plus a whole lot of time spent on the move, a certain reliance on public wifi becomes the norm when travelling. But just because you’re on it more, or the necessity grips you, doesn’t mean all norms of secure browsing should go out of the window. Indeed, you should be extremely cautious about using public wifi with reckless abandon. Check your emails, sure, your Facebook too, but leave anything transactional, balance checking or currency trading based to a safer, password protected, non-shared connection.
Other precautionary measures apply; verify that the website you’re visiting is HTTPS before visiting and consider using a VPN to enable public WIFI connections to made private. If you run a business online and are working abroad, consider carrying out a security audit on your website before travelling to make sure everything is as secure as possible. Online solutions experts, such as Verasseti can help with this process.
DISABLE BLUETOOTH AND AUTOCONNECT
Following on from the above, it’s also important for those on the move to disable Bluetooth and wifi auto connect. Plenty of much loved, ‘budget’ holiday destinations have places aplenty offering public wifi which doesn’t require a password, so if you’re not careful your device will constantly be connecting to new spots as you stroll. Again, as caution is the watchword, it’s important to disable Bluetooth too, as it’s also susceptible to spying, remote access and malware.
NEVER CHARGE YOUR PHONE VIA USB PUBLICLY
Sure, you might need to give your phone enough juice to make an important call to the guy you met at the full moon party the previous night, but if you’re not near your hotel, it might be wise to simply let your device lay dormant. Charging via U.S.B in a public place is extremely risky. Hotels which aren’t your own, coffee shops and bars could all have malware lurking on their computers which can make access to your device really quite simple. Just say no and protect yourself online.
AVOID CONSTANT LOCATION UPDATES
Sure, it might be great to keep all of your friends, family and followers posted on your every movement; where you ate, stayed, drank and stuff….but oversharing – apart from simply being really bloody annoying – can give unscrupulous individuals all the information they need to get access to your things, both physically and online. Of course, this applies to not letting the world know that you’re travelling and your home is unoccupied (and an easy target). But more than that, any information on where you’ve spent money recently can help a criminal validate their identity when posing as you. So, in the name of cyber security, no more ‘just had a great meal at Pizza Napoli’, no ‘trainers are sooo cheap in Bangkok’ and certainly no photos of bills, receipts and the rest.
PASSWORD PROTECT DILIGENTLY
Naturally, when you’re on the move and getting loose as you go, stuff is going to get lost. That’s normal and an accepted part of the process. What’s not normal is leaving your various items of technology – smartphones, laptops, tablets – without proper password protection. Getting unfiltered, unfettered access to your device is a criminal’s dream; your itinerary, personal information and sometimes even credit card details, can all be found there. Your password should be super strong and unique, for maximum security.
For an added layer of security, consider investing in firewall software which is designed to prevent unauthorised access to your computer network. Serving as a virtual fence, firewalls can stop those pesky cyber criminals gaining access to your personal information. Check this spyware guide for the lowdown on the best hardware and software based firewalls out there today.