Traveling? Stuff your suitcase with these cybersecurity tips and best practices

Whether traveling abroad, across the country or even just around town, it’s always best to be well prepared. And in the digital age, that means packing your bags with all the cybersafety know-how you possibly can.

Luckily, you don’t need to make any extra space in your carry-on luggage. Keeping cybersecurity in mind is enough to make sure you’re well-protected from any unseen threats that could be targeting you and your information.

Let’s take a closer look at the dangers you should be aware of and what you can do before, during and after your travels to keep your data secure.

Traveling? Stuff your suitcase with these cybersecurity tips and best practices

Before your journey

Whether traveling for work or taking a much needed vacation, it’s important that you plan ahead. A well-thought out plan can make all the difference between enjoying your travels and mitigating a data security disaster.

Thus, it’s integral to your security that you take a few precautionary measures before your travel date. Here’s what you need to do prior to leaving home:

  • Backup your data: The Federal Communications Commission recommends that travelers make backups of their files before setting off on their journey. Be sure you make copies of your most important documents, data and information on your smartphone, computer or other devices.
  • Update software: Install your operating system’s latest updates to ensure your device’s built-in security features are patched and ready to go.
  • Disable auto-connectivity: Smartphones, for example, can automatically join public Wi-Fi networks when they’re detected, but public networks may be malicious and steal your data if you’re not careful.

During your trip

Maybe you’re at a work conference, or maybe you’re lounging on the beach in Mykonos — either way, you need to protect your data. Here are a few tips to stay safe so that you can enjoy your trip as much as possible:

  • Never leave devices unattended: It’s best to keep your devices on you at all times whenever possible, especially in public spaces. If necessary, lock your devices in your hotel room safe where they can’t be stolen or accessed without your permission. According to the Department of Homeland Security, thieves often target travelers, especially during meals and conferences.
  • Don’t use public computers: Hotels and resorts may have business centers that allow you to access publicly facing computers. If you use these devices, never log into your personal accounts or input any personal information. There’s no telling what type of malware is lurking on their system that could steal your sensitive data.
  • Use a VPN: In the event you need to access the internet, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to create a secure connection. This allows you to surf the web without exposing yourself to public (and possibly malicious) networks.

When you’ve returned

If you’ve followed the steps outlined above, you’ve hopefully enjoyed a well-deserved break or completed a successful work trip. But the job isn’t done quite yet.

Even after you’ve made it safely home, be sure to take the following precautions:

  • Change passwords: Keep a list of the accounts you’ve used while away and be sure to change their credentials once you’ve returned home.
  • Keep an eye out: Monitor your credit cards and bank accounts in the coming weeks just to be sure the coast is clear and your information is safe.
  • Deploy a cybersecurity solution: Software like Total Defense’s portfolio of internet security solutions can keep your data protected long after you’re back home.

With these tips in hand, you’ll be ready to embark on your next adventure with the peace of mind that your digital well being is safe and sound. To learn more about online security, check out our Total Defense Security blog or contact us to speak with an expert.