The holidays are time for travel but be sure to stay secure as cyber criminals’ use holiday season to mask their attempts at stealing your personal and electronic information and devices. Whether you are travelling for pleasure or business, you need to protect your electronic devices from unauthorized users and scammers.
Check out these easy strategies to keep all your electronic devices secure from intruders:
- Carry the minimum amount of sensitive data and devices: take only those documents, devices and information that will be needed for the trip. Avoid carrying your work laptops and devices for a pleasure trip.
Note: Remove saved passwords from your devices and browsers
- Ensure your devices have current safeguards in place: make sure all your personal devices have the latest security and patches from their respective Apple, Android, or Blackberry operating systems.
- Ensure you have password protection on mobile devices: use secured passwords that are easy to remember but difficult to guess. Change your passwords often. Change the password especially after coming back from the trip, incase the password was decoded without your knowledge.
Note: In some countries, border officials can ask you to enter your PIN or password to see if your devices contain inappropriate content or not
- Back up and encrypt sensitive data: if your device offers the option to encrypt the files then encrypt all the sensitive information before storing it on your electronic device. Do remember all your passwords for the encrypted data as without the password you may lose the encrypted data. The advantage of encryption is that even if unauthorized people get physical access of the device, they cannot access the encrypted information stored on it.
Note: Some countries have laws that limit the use and presence of encrypted software.
- Consider setting up two-step verification for your most important accounts. This requires you to enter not just a password but a second code whenever you log in using an unfamiliar computer.
- Never leave your device unattended: keep your devices with you all the time. Never ever leave any sensitive information unattended. Always keep your electronic devices with you or in your cabin baggage. Avoid using your devices in public. Remember, even hotel rooms and safe are not secure.
- Consider all communications are being monitored: Always keep in mind to not to do any confidential conversation in public. When travelling, all communication should be considered as being monitored all the time by foreign government.
Note: Some countries have legal rights to monitor the information you transmit over their networks
- Do not open files from unknown source: always verify the email sender before opening an attachment or any other file. Use only secured internet connections. Protect yourself from “shoulder surfers” and “peepers”.
- Confirm the name of Internet connection before you logon: always confirm the name of the Internet Connection from reliable sources specifically in case of free Wi-Fi. It is easy to establish trustworthy looking Wi-Fi access point (it is as simple as tweaking the name of a trusted network) to steal the personal information and identities.
- Disable Wireless (Wi-Fi, Infra-Red, and Bluetooth) connections from your devices when not in use
- Avoid using Internet café kiosks and other public Internet access points: Even the services available at hotels or airports are not 100% safe. They may contain malicious software or hardware to capture your password(s) or card number(s).
Note: Do not enter your personal info such as password or card number when using Internet Café Kiosks or other public Internet access point.
Use the option of opening an “incognito” or “private” browser window.
- Avoid connecting untrusted or unknown digital devices such as USB keys, media cards and USB chargers to your own devices. Avoid connecting your USB keys, etc. to untrusted devices.
- Be aware of your surroundings and who might be able to view your screen/keyboard especially in public areas (e.g. shield passwords from view)
Happy and Safe Travel!