How to Stay Cyber-Safe While Traveling

As travelers, we’ve all heard our fair share of safety tips. Don’t drink the water! Be wary of scam artists! Get travel insurance!

And while these tips can help against most travel mishaps, we often forget to protect one of our most valuable assets – our personal information!

Cybersecurity defends us against hackers who are out to steal and use whatever data they can extract from our devices. Whether you’re at the airport, exploring the city, or relaxing in your hotel, you should always try to protect yourself against these potential threats. Your information is equally, if not more, important than what you pack in your suitcase.

Password Protect your Devices

Pickpockets are a real threat, especially if you’re traveling to a big city or planning to take public transportation. Nobody wants to lose hundreds (or thousands) of dollars by having their iPhone or camera swiped. But in reality, the information you have on your device can be more valuable than the device itself, especially in the hands of the wrong person.

Unless you want your passwords, personal information, and a couple of risqué photos aired for the world to see, make sure to protect your device with a strong password. And as an extra layer of protection, you can enable your smartphone to erase all of its data after several failed password attempts.

Use a VPN on Public WiFi Networks

When you connect to a public WiFi network, you’re opening yourself up to potential threats. Hackers or compromised machines can easily tap into the same open network and spy or steal your data.

But when you travel and need to book a hotel or call an Uber, using public WiFi might be your only option. For this reason, you should connect to one of the best VPN services to protect your information. A VPN masks your IP address, encrypts your data, and hides your identity from any prying hackers.

Install Tracking Software

Every month, we hear dozens of stories about travelers losing their electronics and valuables abroad. And while losing your phone can feel like losing a limb, there are thankfully ways to recover your lost items.

Before you travel, install tracking software on your laptop and enable FindMyPhone (or something similar) on your smartphone. It will help you locate, lock, and in worst case scenarios, erase your device from wherever you are in the world.

Avoid Connecting to Bluetooth

You’re probably pretty familiar with Bluetooth technology, but have you heard of Bluejacking and Bluebugging? On a Bluetooth-enabled device, hackers can pair to your hardware or interrupt the wireless transmission to steal your data.

Most Bluetooth products like speakers or keyboards are at home, so there’s really no reason to enable Bluetooth on your phone if you’re on the road. There’s a good rule of thumb I like to live by when traveling – if you don’t need it, turn it off!

Final Thoughts

Technology has undoubtedly changed the way we travel. And while it enables us to book flights or look up directions seamlessly, technology also exposes us to potential security threats.

By proactively protecting our devices when you travel, you can ultimately protect yourself. And always remember to be aware of your surroundings, whether they’re on the ground on in cyberspace.

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