You may be travelling far from home this summer, but hackers with access to your digital data are only a few keystrokes away from your bank account, credit cards and overall identity. We don’t meant to scare you, but even though the development of new digital technologies has opened up new opportunities for travelers, at the same time has increased exposure to scams and security risks while on the road.
With the summer travel season fast approaching, it’s a good time to start ensuring your own digital security. The premier travel insurance comparison website TravelInsurance.com has compiled a list of digital travel security recommendations:
Backup Your Documents
Scan or take pictures of your travel documents, including your passport, airline tickets, hotel reservations and insurance papers on your phone in case the originals are lost or stolen.
Clean Up Devices
Before leaving home, remove all non-essential personal information from your computer, phone and other devices. Make sure to set a strong password on your computer and mobile devices and look into possibly having the devices automatically wiped after a large number of incorrect password entries.
Assume Your Data Is Not Secure
Anyone can gather your data without much difficulty. Some countries monitor data and emails, while airports and hotels are generally public or semi-public internet hubs. Use a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure your privacy and to access websites that might be blocked by local internet providers. A VPN is a private and secure internet network that you can reach via any internet connection. Never submit sensitive payment information on websites if the browser shows “http” instead of “https.” Also, turn on two factor authentication on all of your email, banking and credit card accounts as an added measure of security (provided that you can receive text messages at your destination).
There are a variety of apps that can help keep you informed and secure while on the road such as Lookout mobile security solution. The State Department’s Smart Traveler app is available free of charge from both iTunes and the Google Play store. It’s a great source of information about specific countries, travel advisories and warnings.
Don’t Fry Your Devices
Make sure that you have the right adapters. Check the tech specs of your devices and the electrical standards of your travel destinations.