How To Keep Your Data Safe When Travelling Abroad
Vacations or work-related visits are an exciting time to break the monotony and visit new destinations. However, the fun can abruptly come to a halt when your personal or professional data gets compromised during your travel.
A decade ago, when traveling, the main concern would be getting your physical belongings stolen. Now, data breaches and cybercrime are on the rise. According to statistics, on average, 37% of people have fallen victim to cyber-crime over the past two years. How do you ensure your data remains safe during your travels? You should do the following.
Use A Reliable And Secure VPN
Most data is hacked through public Wi-Fi connections in the airport and around hotels. Since you don’t know who else has connected to the network, you should consider using a trusted VPN to safeguard your data against prying eyes.
A VPN will help mask the internet traffic and encrypt the data you receive and send. Thus, even hackers monitoring the network cannot gain access to the data traveling through the network.
Disable Location Tracking
Electronic gadgets are invaluable companions for travelers. For example, GPS comes in handy for travelers as it helps navigate new places and keeps you updated on traffic reports around the area. However, enabling location features increases the chances of cyberattacks.
Criminals can access location tracking information in real-time, using the information to determine the user’s identity. Safeguard your data by disabling location tracking.
Turn Off Automatic Phone Connectivity Features
How many connectivity features like Bluetooth have you enabled on your phone? Bluetooth is a resourceful connection, especially on your ride home from work. When traveling, always ensure you disable automatic connectivity like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
These connectivity features, when left open, can connect to any other open network. Hackers are aware of these and depend on these signals to remotely access your device and your data. Thus, disable any connectivity features during your travel.
Backup Your Data And Store It On The Cloud
Irrespective of whether the data on your devices is personal or business-related, it is essential to back up the data and move it to the cloud. Avoid keeping your data on the device until necessary to access.
Storing your files on the cloud will minimize the amount of data you lose should you misplace your devices. Besides, it ensures the files are retrievable on request.
Use Two-Factor Authentication (TFA) For Your Email Account
Have you ever tried accessing your email when you are in a new country and asked to verify that your account belongs? That is the TFA feature that provides an additional layer of security.
If you haven’t enabled the TFA, consider enabling it before your travels. It prevents hackers from accessing your device by asking for extra details about your account before granting you access. Thus, even though a hacker might have preyed on you by filling in your email and address, they will barely get beyond the first attempt.
Don’t Share Your Travel Details
It is tempting to share with the world your travel destination and experience through social media. However, keeping your travel details anonymous is a safer option. Most criminals and hackers will identify their next target on social media.
Assuming you leave alone and you have been on a hacker’s target, announcing your travel plans or destination reveals you will be away from home. It gives a hacker enough opportunity to break into your home and access your unsecured personal data.
Use Google Authenticator And Store Your Passwords In A Password-Protected File
Google Authenticator is an app that generates a code you should enter when logging into your accounts like Facebook or Google. Download and set it up before traveling for extra security. It also enables you access to the Two-Factor authentication codes even without access to cellular service.
If you have sensitive information like credit card numbers and passwords on your device, consider using a password-protected file. You can download an encryption tool to create a secure vault for your data which appears like a regular file for everyone else.
Delete Sensitive Information And Enable Remote Wipe
Do you have any sensitive information or files on your device that you wouldn’t want anyone to access? Instead of risking the data falling into the wrong hands, it is safer to remove the information before leaving.
Since smartphones get stolen often when on the move, enabling the remote wipe function can be helpful. Remote wipe enables you to remotely erase all the data on your device immediately if it’s stolen or lost. However, you need to remember your carrier passwords since wireless carrier stores may not be readily available to help reset your passwords.