Reservations made. Bags packed. Tickets printed. You even remembered to pack all of your chargers. You are all set to travel. As you head out the door, you make sure the stove is off as well as windows and doors are locked. You have made your house secure. You have thought about everything, but have you thought about how to travel cyber safe?
Access to the Internet while traveling is commonplace. Most places have WiFi, including while flying. It is public access and free. That puts your devices at-risk for hacking. While you have access to the WiFi, so does the cybercriminal looking to gain access to sensitive information like passwords and banking information.
What are the top three threats?
According to a 2018 report by FireEye that 91 percent of cybercrime starts with an email. Clicking on a link in an email can open the safe. When traveling, checking email on your mobile device is commonplace. Mobile users are at the highest risk of becoming a victim due to the way many mobile email clients show only the sender’s name tricking a person into thinking an email is from someone they know.
2. Unsecured Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi is very tempting when you do not want to burn through cellular data while traveling. Wi-Fi networks are usually unsecured, leaving you open to hacking by the bad guys. If you must use free Wi-Fi – that includes in the hotel – only use it when you need it and never to access banking or other personal information.
3. Out-of-date devices
Keep your devices updated. It is vital to install updates to them when they become available. Most of the time, the updates are security-related patches. If you cannot update a device anymore, then it may be time to trade it up.
How to have Cyber Safe Travel?
Now that you know the top threats, then how can you protect yourself? Here are three tips for keeping cyber safe while traveling:
1. Use a VPN
If you need to use public Wi-Fi, then invest in a reliable, trustworthy VPN. Use it every time you use your device on that public Wi-Fi.
2 Create stronger passwords
Passwords are often the weakest link. Create passwords that are least eight characters long and make sure to combine letters, numbers, and symbols. If you have many passwords or have trouble remembering then get a password manager.
3. Install Some Security Software on Your Device
With mobile cyber threats becoming more common, protect your smartphone with security software. Many mobile providers are offering protection plans as well as the traditional anti-virus providers for computers.
Being aware of the threats and then implementing some simple measures can help you have cyber safe travel.
Don’t know where to start?
With cybersecurity, today is always a good time to review your small business cyber security. Join the Small Business Cyber Safe Jump-Start right now and walk away with a five-point action plan.
Or schedule time to talk about your cyber risk and cybersecurity concerns and questions.
(Updated 20 December 2021)