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Securing your digital life While on the go

28.07.2023
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As travel becomes more commonplace with the receding impact of COVID-19, it's crucial to ensure the cybersecurity of your digital devices while on the go. Whether you're travelling for leisure or business, carrying devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones puts your personal and business data at risk. This article provides comprehensive strategies to bolster the security of your devices and protect your valuable information during your travels.

Choose the right laptop bag for protection: select a robust and sturdy laptop bag explicitly designed for carrying laptops. Ensure that the bag has a well-padded laptop sleeve to provide adequate protection. Backpacks with dedicated laptop compartments can be convenient. Opting for TSA-approved bags is highly recommended. Additionally, choose a bag that is collapsible and expandable, allowing you to adjust it according to its contents. Comfort is also crucial for carrying the bag during long trips.

Apply parental instincts for device security: treat your laptop as valuable as a child, especially in public places. Never leave your laptop unattended, and always keep it within your sight, even when you're moving around. If you need to step away or use a restroom, take your laptop with you or secure it safely before you go. Avoid leaving it in a car, and never check it with your luggage at the airport.

Hotel room protocol: when leaving your laptop in your hotel room, take precautions to ensure its safety. Use the 'Do Not Disturb' sign to limit the number of people entering your room, minimising the chances of your laptop disappearing. If your device is compact enough, consider using the hotel safe. However, remember that it's not foolproof, so try to minimise the time your laptop spends unattended.

The importance of cable locks and retrieving lost devices: invest in a cable lock for your laptop as a deterrent against theft. While a determined thief might not be discouraged by a lock, it can provide a formidable obstacle in busier settings where a quick getaway is crucial. Also, in case your laptop is lost or stolen, specific software programs can help locate it. Consider subscribing to anti-theft tracking services provided by the device manufacturer or third-party security firms. Adding layers of security and keeping all necessary contact information and subscription details handy can significantly reduce the risk of losing your valuable device while travelling.

Establishing Boundaries: your Laptop Is “Not for Sharing”. Avoid letting strangers use your personal devices, even if they seem trustworthy. Allowing a stranger access to your laptop can lead to potential data theft or physical theft of the device. They might unintentionally download malware or access unsecured networks, compromising your cybersecurity. If someone urgently needs to use a computer, direct them to a public facility like a library or an internet café.

Tips for secure power-ups: public charging stations, while convenient, can be risky in terms of cybercriminal activities. Data thieves can use these stations to steal data or inject malware into your device. If you need to use a public charging port, consider using a USB data blocker, also known as a USB condom. This device allows your phone to charge without exposing data transfer pins, preventing unwanted data access. Carrying a portable battery pack can provide an extra layer of protection.

Managing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity: Disable automatic Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity when you're not actively using them. This precautionary step reduces the risk of inadvertently connecting to malicious or compromised networks that can compromise your data security. Manually select and connect to trusted networks only to ensure a safe connection.

Passwords, biometrics, and multi-factor authentication: secure your devices with strong and unique passwords. Ideally, use biometric security features such as fingerprint or facial recognition if your device supports them. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on all your accounts where available. These features provide an additional layer of security that is difficult for thieves to bypass. Additionally, activate auto-lock settings on your devices so they automatically lock themselves after a brief period of inactivities.

Encryption for data protection and utilising Virtual Private Network (VPN): encrypting your sensitive data is crucial for device security. Encryption transforms your readable data into an unreadable format that can only be deciphered with a specific key. Also, harness the power of a hide VPN to enhance your online security, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks commonly found at airports, hotels, or coffee shops. Many tools and software are available to assist you with encryption, while Expert VPN is your reliable VPN to subscribe to get perfect online security.

Mindful online sharing and regular backups: exercise caution when sharing information online, particularly regarding travel plans or location. Revealing specific details can make you a target for individuals with malicious intent, including those who may want to steal your devices. Establish a routine for regular backups by copying essential files to a secure and separate location. This can be an external hard drive, a network-attached storage (NAS) device, or a cloud storage service. By having backups, you can prevent data loss in the event of a lost, stolen, or damaged device.

While cyberattacks on travellers are increasing in frequency, it's essential to prioritise cybersecurity while on the go. Implementing these tips and strategies will help you stay vigilant and protect your digital devices and data. Stay informed about current threats, regularly update your security measures, and ensure a safe and secure digital experience while travelling. By taking proactive measures, you can enjoy your journey without compromising your digital life.