Just because it is the festive season and you are on vacation doesn’t mean hackers are too. The risk of cyber threats remains as high as ever. The number of cyber-attacks hasn’t decreased, and loosening the reins just because you are traveling is playing right into hackers’ hands. If you are traveling or planning to travel soon, these tips might help you keep hackers at bay:
Install a VPN
It is advisable to leave your devices behind when traveling, but consider subscribing to a VPN service if you must carry your smartphone or laptop. A virtual private network can help you hide your location and IP address, mask trails of your browsing history, and keep you veiled from ISP and government surveillance. Different VPN providers offer varying feature packages, so check more about popular VPNs before settling for a service.
Avoid public Wi-Fi networks
Assuming every network you come across is hostile is a survival tactic, you must take with you to your destination. If you must connect to the internet using café, hotel, and airport networks, ensure you use a VPN for starters. You might also want to enable SSL/TLS certificates in your browser to ensure no one tampers with the sensitive information you share with websites.
Adopt a strong password strategy
Creating a strong password to your device or account may seem like an uphill task. This is especially true if you have multiple devices and accounts, and the recommendation is that you have a different password for each device or account. We all fancy convenience, but if you achieve that at the expense of your data privacy and security, you are prioritizing the wrong thing. Always create strong passwords, and refrain from reusing them. More importantly, avoid sharing them with anyone, writing them down, or keying them in while someone is watching. If possible, use a password manager for more security and better defense against password attacks.
Follow travel advisories
Different countries pose varying security threats to your data. For instance, China and Russia are known for sophisticated cybercriminal and espionage operations. You have to take extra caution when visiting these countries. Check the International SOS and Control Risks’ color-coded map to check your destination’s cybercrime threat level.
Avoid banking apps
Traveling calls for access to one’s bank account more than anything. Most tourists often prefer using online banking apps to check their financial information, making them ripe data theft targets in foreign countries. To avoid exposing your data, consider using paper cash or credit cards, and keeping away from eCommerce stores you have never used before. Walk to the bank for withdrawals and inquiries when you can, or give your bank a phone call if you want remote access.
These simple tips can help you maintain your data security and privacy while traveling. Essentially, everything you do at home or your office to protect yourself from hackers should be replicated at your destination. A cybersecurity expert can help you maneuver foreign soil if you are relocating for good or setting up a business in another country or state.