All forms of travelers, including business or pleasure seekers, are prone to computer security threats during their tours. Even if you adhere to cybersecurity guidelines at home, it’s possible you could ignore most of them when you travel.
Travelers usually connect to public Wi-Fi in other regions to minimize data usage. Nevertheless, there are multiple risks associated with public networks, such as man-in-the-middle attacks and Wi-Fi pineapples, which are used to steal data from Wi-Fi users.
Other common mistakes tourists make are charging their smartphones at public USB stations or cybercafés. A lot of business travelers make these mistakes. To access remote workplaces, these visitors need constant access to the internet, and thus, could fall into the traps of cybercriminals.
For every public computer or network you use, you expose yourself to an increasing number of internet threats. This is why you need to learn cybersecurity tips while you travel. Here’s how to improve cybersecurity when you travel.
1. Activate PINs and Biometric Locks on your Devices
When you travel a lot, it becomes more likely that you’ll lose one or more of your devices at one point. You could probably get exhausted or robbed. Nonetheless, if any of these scenarios occur, you’d feel better knowing a PIN or biometric lock protects your data.
Biometric protection is available on most of the popular smartphone brands. A handful of computer models have the biometrics option. Biometric locks serve to increase safety on your device.
If you’re using a PIN, avoid using the most common PIN codes available. Try to create one that is long and complicated.
2. Deactivate Wi-Fi Auto-Connect
If you check your smartphone, it is likely to have a setting that automatically allows it to connect to Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi can seem extraordinary to use since it conserves data costs. However, it could include a trade-off between your data for free internet.
The truth is, data protection laws differ between regions. What may be considered illegal in your country could be legal elsewhere. You may not be comfortable realizing what type of data is collected about you when you use public Wi-Fi abroad. All in all, to be safe, disable the Wi-Fi auto-connect feature.
3. Get a VPN
If you’re feeling distraught at the news that public Wi-Fi may no longer be a viable option, a VPN might help you out. This network security tool is proficient at anonymizing internet data and encrypting connections.
In practical terms, using a VPN either with public Wi-Fi or the local network would hide your network activity. The entirety of your data would be safe from prying eyes, which also includes hackers.
4. Think Twice Before Sharing Your Location
It’s easy to bask in the euphoria of touring a new country and share live locations with social media friends or followers. When you do so, posts like this could get shared and could end up in the hands of a malicious person.
Think twice before you share your location on social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
5. Avoid Public Computers
Using computers at cybercafés and other public spaces to log in to online accounts doesn’t denote cybersecurity consciousness. First, these devices could possess numerous security lapses.
Many of these computers don’t run on the latest operating system or use updated software versions. They also contain malware and could be devoid of cybersecurity tools.
For instance, a hacker could easily install a keylogger on one of the public systems to steal passwords and credit card data. Avoiding public computers would go a long way to protecting your data.
6. Activate Remote Disabling
If your device gets lost, you’ll want to ensure no one can get hands-on your data. One of the ways to do this is by activating remote wiping.
This feature deletes every bit of data, including offline and online data on your device when it gets lost or stolen. You’d be able to perform this function even if you do not have your device.
Another way to do this is by setting your smartphone to wipe your data after a wrong passcode has been fixed a specific number of times. You could decide to activate remote wiping on your Android device using your Google Account or on iPhone with your iCloud account.
7. Deactivate Bluetooth Auto-Connect
Bluetooth auto-connect is another way hackers can steal your data. If your smartphone is set to auto-connect to Bluetooth devices, it could get linked to that of a cybercriminal.
This factor can leave your personal information exposed. Try to switch off your Bluetooth entirely whenever you travel.
Trying to keep up with cybersecurity while traveling could prove difficult. It’s easy to get lost in the globetrotting experiences and do things like connecting to free Wi-Fi or using public computers.
Actions like that expose you to data hijackers. To protect yourself, you can disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth auto-connectivity, lock your device, activate remote wiping, and avoid public computers.
Jack is an accomplished cybersecurity expert with years of experience under his belt at TechWarn, a trusted digital agency to world-class cybersecurity companies.
A passionate digital safety advocate himself, Jack frequently contributes to tech blogs and digital media sharing expert insights on cybersecurity and privacy tools.