Planning a trip? Getting ready to travel with your laptop for business or pleasure? As important as it is to deploy safe cyber practices while at home, it is even more important to be aware of cybersecurity risks while traveling. According to a TripWire survey, 51% of Americans believe that using personal devices on vacation is as safe as at home. Unfortunately, the use of public wifi, as well as other small conveniences available when traveling, can put your data at risk.
So, now that you have bought your plane tickets, booked a hotel, picked up some sunscreen and packed a suitcase…what else do you need to do to make sure your data is protected?
Back it up.
Backup your important data including all of your pictures, contacts, email or anything that you rely on. As careful as you may be traveling can be hectic and sometimes inevitable that computers can be damaged. Make sure that your laptop is backed up to either another device or the best practice would be an offsite cloud backup solution.
Keep it comfortable.
Laptops and electronic devices don’t like extreme temperatures. Heat, cold or extreme humidity can be unhealthy for your equipment. Don’t ever leave these devices in vehicles when traveling for a prolonged period of time.
Make sure you update your anti-virus, firewall and critical Microsoft patches before you begin your trip. By doing this in a proactive manner you will ensure the most recent security protection has been applied before you fly.
Watch the WiFi.
Before you go and randomly start connecting to wireless hotspots in the airport or hotel, you should confirm that the network matches what is being provided to you. Never do any highly sensitive work when connecting through a public network. If you need to confirm the WiFi account with a staff member at your location, it never hurts to ask.
Charge it up.
Make sure that prior to getting to the airport you have a fully charged battery. You may be required to boot up the computer in the event of a security check. The time to make sure that your battery is charged will save you frustration in the terminal.
Keep an eye on it.
Always make sure that you keep your laptop and phone on you while traveling. Never put your devices through a checked back unless you want them to miss the flight and end up in another city.
Don’t be too Trusting.
When leaving your hotel for the day do not leave your laptop out and unsecured. Although the hotel staff may be very friendly you cannot take the risk of someone either stealing your laptop or using it while you are out of the room for the day.
Keep your eyes open.
If you are in the airport, hotel lobby, or coffee shop on the road always be aware of your environment. There will probably be others around you and could potentially be looking over your shoulder at the screen. You don’t want this month’s revenue projections or your child’s report card to become casual reading for your neighbor.
Turn off the auto connect.
Some devices may be set to automatically connect to wireless networks. By shutting off this feature you will only be connecting to the network that you want.
Now, that you are protected remember “Please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position. Make sure that your seat belt is fastened and all carry-on luggage is stowed for take-off.” If you have questions or would like to discuss ways to protect your company’s assets while you or your staff are traveling please contact Chris Mackin at ACS Services firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-238-6334 and a member of the team will assist you.