When you’re traveling  – whether domestic or international, for business or for pleasure – it is always important to practice safe online behavior and whatever trips you take in your own country or abroad, you need to take effective security precautions on all your electronic devices.

The experts at DigitalStakeout have identified some important cybersecurity precautions you should consider.

Security Measures to Take Before Travel

  • Everything connected must be protected. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense against viruses and malware is to update to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. Sign up for automatic updates, if you can, and protect your devices with anti-virus software.
  • Perform a full backup. Back up your contacts, financial data, photos, videos, and other mobile device data to another device or cloud service in case your device is compromised and you have to reset it to factory settings.
  • Update all your software. Keep your software updated to the latest version available. Maintain your security settings to keeping your information safe by turning on automatic updates so you don’t have to think about it, and set your security software to run regular updates.
  • Setup your device screens to lock. Lock your device when you are not using it. Even if you only step away for a few minutes, that is enough time for someone to steal or misuse your information. Set your devices to lock after a short time and use strong PINs and passwords.
  • Setup strong authentication. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in.

If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token, a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring. Read the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) How-to-Guide for more information.

Cyber Security During Your Trip

  • Disable auto connections. Some devices will automatically seek and connect to available wireless networks or Bluetooth devices. This instant connection opens the door for cyber criminals to remotely access your devices. Disable these features so that you actively choose when to connect to a safe network.
  • Stay protected while connected. Before you connect to any public wireless hotspot, such as at an airport, hotel, or café, be sure to confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate. If you do use an unsecured public access point, practice good Internet hygiene by avoiding sensitive activities (e.g., banking) that require passwords or credit cards.
  • Assume you are being targeted. Cyber criminals use phishing tactics, hoping to fool their victims. If you’re unsure who an email is from, even if the details appear accurate, or if the email looks “phishy,” do not respond and do not click on any links or attachments found in that email. When available use the “junk” or “block” option to no longer receive messages from a particular sender.
  • Reduce your public digital footprint. Limit what information you post on social media—from personal addresses to where you like to grab coffee. What many people don’t realise is that these seemingly random details are all that criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones, and your physical belongings, online and in the real world.  Keep Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private, as well as specific information about yourself, such as your full name, address, birthday, and even vacation Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are, and where you aren’t, at any given time.
  • Guard your mobile device. To prevent theft and unauthorised access or loss of sensitive information, never leave your equipment, including any USB or external storage devices, unattended in a public. Keep your devices secured in taxis, at airports, on airplanes, and in your hotel room.

Source: Cyber Security Intelligence