Cyber Security on the move
Keep your data safe while travelling abroad
When jetting off on holiday it’s all too easy to relax and forget about the risks to our cyber-security.
Research commissioned by Kaspersky Lab discovered that 50% of travellers get online even before they leave the airport. A desire to be connected no matter what the consequences is putting our personal data at risk and threatening our money, identities and more.
In the research, more than 11,000 travellers across five continents and 23 countries were surveyed. Respondents were quizzed about their attitudes towards using their devices and connecting to the internet while abroad.
It was revealed that almost one in five (18%) have been victims of cyber-crime while abroad and three in four people take risks by connecting to free public Wi-Fi when travelling – in places such as airports, hotels and restaurants.
Even those going abroad for business admit to relaxing on their travels, even though they could be especially vulnerable. This is because they often carry sensitive data, both personal and business related, on a variety of devices including smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
So, what can we do to protect our data? Here are some simple yet key ways to stay cyber-safe when travelling aboard:
1/ Install Passwords/PIN on Mobiles Device Before Leaving Doing this is your first line of defence while away. If your laptop or phone is left unattended, lost or stolen, a would-be criminal will have a much harder time getting into your device if there’s a password lock set. Doing this is simple and takes little time.
2/ Turn Off Automatic Bluetooth Connectivity
Bluetooth is great in the car or at home, where it’s safe to communicate with other electronic devices. However, most of us forget to turn Bluetooth off when we go to public places, especially when we go on holiday. With your Bluetooth connectivity left open, anyone sitting in a hotel lobby or nearby coffee shop can pick up that signal and gain access to your phone. This can happen suddenly and without your knowledge.
3/ Only Use Password Protected Wi-Fi
Sticking to a password-protected network, like the ones offered at most hotels, is your safest bet if you need to access the Internet. Similarly, if you use a public computer for a quick email, always make sure you’ve logged out of your account before leaving. Look for the HTTPS extension at the beginning of the URL to ensure it’s protected. Avoid free public Wi-Fi whenever possible.
2/ Check Sensitive Accounts Regularly
Before you leave the hotel for a day of sightseeing, get in the habit of checking sensitive financial accounts. Also, check them when you get back. The sooner you spot fraudulent behavior, the better. Just make sure you log out of your accounts after each use!
3/ Leave Smart Devices in a Hotel Safe
Some rooms have safes for storing sensitive info or important keepsakes while traveling. Use the safe to store any smart devices you won’t need for the day, like a laptop, USB, external hard drive, or wearable technology. Don’t leave these things lying around the hotel.
4/ Don’t Broadcast Your Whereabouts on Social Media
It’s extremely dangerous to broadcast your location every few hours on social media. By revealing your location, you make it easy for a criminal to determine that you’re not in your hotel room or at your home, leaving your physical belongings and the information on them, at risk. Limit the details you post online while away or wait until you get back home.