Protecting your personal information might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re packing your bags. These practical tips will help you secure your devices and personal information. For a worry-free trip!
Protect your digital life when you travel
When travelling for work or for pleasure, you encounter new risks that you might not notice at first glance. Protecting your personal information should always be a priority, whether enjoying your vacation and disconnecting, or visiting an important client abroad. Here are 7 things you can always do to make sure you stay safe digitally while on a trip.
1. The first rule . . . check the rules
Not every dreamy holiday destination is the same. Thailand has dazzling blue waters, Austria has beautiful snowy mountains, and New Zealand has the legal right to search your electronic device on entry. Before travelling, make sure you know what you’re taking with you (be it digitally or otherwise) and check to see if it’s going against the regulations of the country you’re visiting. That movie you downloaded to watch on the plane may not be legal once you hit the tarmac. Don’t be surprised if the border agents ask you for access to your phone, laptop or tablet, but know your rights! Sometimes this request will be optional, other times less so.
2. Safely surfing
Nowadays, having a WiFi hotspot is basically a given for cafes, restaurants, hotels and, indeed most public spaces. With roaming data charges being what they are, we couldn’t ask you not to connect to them. Who can resist the temptation of free internet? However, before you go ahead and share your private information over a public and probably unsafe connection, take a second and install a virtual private network (VPN). You can find many VPN apps on your app store of choice for a cheap fee or even free. This way you can rest easy knowing your emails (be they chain mail from your great aunt or project proposals from your manager) are safe.
3. Where’s the remote?
One of the things that tends to come in handy on trips is remote tracking. We recommend you always keep this feature on for all your devices, so that you may be able to find its location from a distance. Next time you forget your phone in the bathroom of a beach club after a couple of mojitos, or lose it in a crowded Parisian subway, you’ll know where to start your search.
4. Wiping your data
If tracking your device leads to a dead-end or you didn’t follow our advice in the first place (we told you so!) there’s a failsafe option. Make sure your device has the ability to erase all data either on command or after a certain number of wrong passwords have been inputted. This is especially valuable in case of targeted theft, where a person might want to specifically steal information about you or your company from your device, but can also be useful in case of loss. In the end, you don’t want any Tom, Dick or Harry who finds your phone in the ski lift to know you’re still texting your ex.
5. Netflix and log out
Sometimes there’s not a lot to do in that little town you got sent to on the business trip. Often, the most exciting thing you can tour after the meeting, is the menu of your favorite streaming service app, which you logged into on your hotel’s smart TV. Just make sure that after binging a season of Friends, you log out of your account and delete your details from the app’s memory. You don’t want the next guest to mess with your recommendations.
6. Sharing the experience
If it’s not shared on social media, did it really even happen? In an ideal world, you wouldn’t post anything that could tell people where you are and what you’re up to, as this can increase the risk of targeted attacks. But, we get that you’re probably gonna ignore that advice. So, at the very least, when you post your next selfie from the Colosseum, consider turning the geotagging off. In addition to it being a bit redundant, you really don’t want your exact position on the globe readily available for everyone to access. For an extra layer of security, switch your profile to private while travelling, and minimize the chance of creepy stalkers and targeted cyber attacks.
7. Don’t look away
We feel like we shouldn’t even be saying this, but we’re gonna say it anyway. Just in case. DO NOT leave your devices unattended! Don’t charge them behind the bar, don’t leave them in the room, don’t drop them by the side of the pool for a quick dip, just generally don’t take your eyes off them.
Take the holiday quiz
There you have it. 7 tips to keep you digitally safe and secure on your business trips and holiday escapades. Next time you’re on the go, remember to be well informed and alert, and treat your digital information just as you would any of your other valuables.
Take our holiday quiz and discover how safe you are while you’re on a trip!