As a frequent business traveler, you should take extra precautions in order to prevent hackers from accessing personal information via your electronic devices. See our helpful tips below!
Before your Trip
Before you depart, remove any important documents from your devices including confidential presentations, financial statements and photos. In the event that your device is misplaced or stolen, this can save you from more serious problems. Additionally, remove stored passwords and clear your browser history. If you connect to an unsecure Wi-Fi network during the course of your trip, hackers can easily gain access to this information if it’s not properly wiped from your devices. For apps or websites you plan to access while traveling, create new and varied passwords.
Devices often have a setting called auto-connect enabled which allows the device to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks throughout the course of the day. It’s a nice feature to use at home, but can be dangerous on the road when you are unfamiliar with the Wi-Fi networks. Be sure to disable this feature before you leave.
Be sure your operating system and apps are current. Not only will these updates add new features or fix problems, they will also repair security holes or weaknesses that have been discovered in the operating system or application.
Most devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, have passcode or fingerprint protection settings. Ensure all of your devices are password or protected with biometrics (facial recognition or fingerprint locked).
During your Trip
Don’t use public Wi-Fi
When traveling, be cautious of using public Wi-Fi. Though free access sounds appealing, public networks are vulnerable to security breaches and hacks. When possible, avoid unsecure networks.
When you aren’t using your smartphone, tablet or laptop, turn it off to prevent hackers from automatically connecting to your device on an open network.
Don’t connect to your rental car
Be sure your smartphone does not connect to your rental car via Bluetooth. While this seems convenient, once you sync your phone to a vehicle, the car can store personal information from your phone including your phone number, your address book, GPS locations and more.
Keep devices on you at all times
If you are traveling with devices that are easily portable, keep them on you at all times. If that’s not possible, be sure to lock devices away in your hotel room safe when you’re not there.
Avoid viewing personal information
You may be tempted to view your bank statement while you are on the road but the more you can avoid it, the better. Accessing personal information through websites while connected to a Wi-Fi network can make that data easily accessible for others connected to the same network.
If you ever need to enter your credit card information online while traveling (or at any point!), be sure the site is secure. Many browsers display a lock icon to indicate this, but you can also look for an “https” at the beginning of the website’s URL. Some banks now offer virtual credit card numbers that can only be used one-time but still appear on the bank statement.
Stay safe on the road – both personally and digitally, and contact us with questions regarding any and all of your upcoming travel needs.