Cyber Security Tips for Frequent Travellers
Hackers are criminal opportunists and travellers are their soft targets carrying security vulnerabilities on their backs.
You take on your travel journey to find solace, get away from the hustles or finalize your business meeting. What if amidst all the fun and adventure, you realize your mobile, email id or social media account has been hacked. You wouldn’t want to be stressed with a compromise on your confidential data, in some cases undergoing monetary loss and for some a reputation loss as well.
If you travel frequently to different parts of the world, then the data protection is an essential element whose importance supersedes everything else. While being away from home and your trusted network, you get access to unfamiliar WiFi in your hotel, in restaurants or in resorts. These free spots available at different places you head are the primary source of security threats for your devices and being extra careful is what your primacy must be.
This draws the vitality of considering data security measures before you take off on your next vacation, and we have curated come tips that can come in handy to add a safety shield to your cybersecurity:
- A strong password is the first layer of a security blanket
Your smartphone is only as smart for security as its password, so make sure to give it one that cannot be easily cracked. Moreover, if your device with a weak or no password gets stolen, you would be at risk of a cybersecurity breach, compromising your account details, and personal & sensitive information.
Therefore, a strong password with a combination of numeric, phrases and upper case-lower case letters. It will ensure that the phone or other device is difficult to break into, thus saving your personal details and saving you from monetary loss.
- Keep your vigilance high when using public WiFi hotspots
Often on your holidays, you read the sign at hotel reception ‘Free WiFi’. The mere mention of free WiFi raises your spirits and you start updating your social media account with holiday pictures. But, do you ever wonder if this free WiFi comes with a catch? Well, of course, it does! The moment you connect your device to a public WiFi hotspot, your device sends data over an unsecured network. This way you are compromising the security of your device and yourself while using public WiFi at the hands of hackers.
So, what do you do to avoid this issue?
Simple, be careful while connecting your device over an unsecured network and avoid it as much as possible.
- Turn on the two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication grants you or anyone access to your device only after you present a second piece of evidence. While the first factor is the password, the second piece of authentication is the code sent to your mobile or email to confirm your identity.
This security shield creates an extra protection layer in case hackers try to gain access to your account.
- Keep WiFi auto-connect OFF for both your mobile device and laptop
If your device was once connected to a WiFi network, it will re-connect to the network whenever it is in the vicinity. This can be a potential threat to your confidential information. However, if you disable the feature of public WiFi connection, giving you the upper hand in controlling the network your device connects with.
- Invest in a VPN
VPN or virtual private network makes your online actions untraceable by encrypting the conversation or actions. With VPN, your connection becomes secure since hackers would not be able to see your IP address, which otherwise is openly visible to hackers on public WiFi.
- A reliable anti-virus and security solution is your best friend anywhere you go
Antivirus is the robust defender against malicious viruses that intend to damage your laptops and compromise your information. It is the basic and essential element that every device must-have.
And for your mobile devices you should have a cyber security app like Finlock that will work in the background to protect you from fraudulent attempts by scammers so that you can enjoy your travel.
This is especially pertinent if you travel a lot because then you would sometimes be bound to connect to an unfamiliar or unsecured connection. Having an anti-virus would act as a line of defence against malware and malicious hackers.
- Say no to public charging stations
Many hotels offer public charging points for your computer or other communication devices. While this might sound convenient at first, it must only be used in case of emergencies. Moreover, upon using them, make sure to change your account and device password to ensure your mobile, laptop or tablet is not affected by malware.
- Back up is a wise decision always
While you deploy technological solutions to shield your personal information from hackers, there might be occasions when you lose your data. And when you lose your device, its cost would be nothing in comparison to the data, personal account details, documents, plane tickets, hotel reservations and other critical login details that your device contains.
This is why backing up the data in a storage system before you head for travelling is a must to ensure you have access to the crucial information and can travel without hassle.
- Keep your operating system updated
Another crucial element for travellers is keeping their operating system up to date to eliminate the attempts from hackers to penetrate your device and get compromised. When your device has an updated OS, it ensures protection by identifying and solving the vulnerable spots.
- Come back to basics- Do No share your personal information
While adopting numerous technological solutions amalgamated vigilance is helpful, simply not sharing your personal information constantly on social media is the traditional yet effective technique.
- Never leave your devices unattended
When travelling, make sure all your devices are well attended to and physically protected to prevent a stranger from using them for unauthorized or malicious purposes. You can try using a biometric password to eliminate access to the device by an unknown person.
- Invest in personal cyber insurance
The speed through which we have adapted digital technology in our personal and professional life is too fast to track. While this shift is ascending, cyber risk is forming a deep connection with the technology. Therefore investing in personal cyber insurance can protect you from being liable for the damages that stem from theft. This is especially essential when you travel considering the possibility of data theft rises exponentially.
Finlock offers personal cyber insurance coverage of up to ₹5 lakh that will ensure hassle-free recovery of money stolen in the event of online fraud.
The mentioned tips are prime to protecting your security while travelling, but these can also be applied to your devices when at home. Cyberthreats exist everywhere and no place is secure from these risks. So, make sure you adopt as many tips as possible and above all stay vigilant against malicious people.
While you enjoy your holiday, it is vital that you keep cyber security at an even higher level to keep away the stress it can potentially induce.