If you travel for business either away from your office or internationally, you might want to think about cybersecurity to protect your data. A lot of information, both personal and professional, could become the target of corporate spies.
Hackers might also target you if they think you have something valuable. Everyone is at risk because data are stored on multiple devices.
Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself and your data during a business trip.
1. Lock your devices
Most devices that you carry with you (smartphones, tablets, laptops) already have some security measures built into them. A lock on the device can help you if it is lost or stolen. You can set a request for a PIN code or fingerprint identification. It may not be the ultimate protection, but it will give you time to find your device. Here’s instructions to lock your iPhone
or your Android
2. Update your Operating System (OS)
Updating your operating system is an important part of protecting your device. Software developers are constantly finding new flaws in software. Updating is a good way to protect yourself from malware and viruses that have managed to break into your system.
3. Use secure passwords and password managers
Guessing passwords is one of the most common ways for hackers to break into your device. Weak passwords are easy to guess, and that makes them dangerous. You should set new passwords
on all your accounts and devices. Make them long and complex, combining letters, numbers, symbols, etc. You can even create a passphrase, but make sure you use words that don’t make sense in a combination. You can also use a line from a favorite song.
If you have a number of complicated passwords that are difficult to remember, you can use a password manager. Password managers
not only store and remember complicated passwords, they also generate strong passwords that can be used to secure your accounts.
4. Stay away from public Wi-Fi
Using public Wi-Fi is convenient and it allows you to check your emails and accounts while you are on the go. However, this is also an extremely dangerous practice. Public hotspots are often breeding grounds for hackers.
According to a survey from 2016
, more than 70% of people who use public hotspots
will access their personal emails or social media while on a public network.
Up to two-thirds of users questioned stated that they would use public Wi-Fi more if the providers offered information on how to protect themselves from scammers and other attacks.
In many cyber attacks or scams, the Wi-Fi might even be set by hackers themselves.
5. Use a VPN
Using a VPN is the best way to prevent people from spying on your activity and trying to steal the information you share. This is especially necessary for people who travel for business, since they have to share sensitive information when they are travelling. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and hide your identity and location.
They do so by masking your true IP address with that of their own server. VPNs charge a subscription fee for this, but many VPNs offer a trial version of their service for free. Some VPNs have a free service as well, although it has some restrictions.
We recommend that you reach out to your company’s IT department about setting up VPN on your devices. But, if you consider yourself mildly tech savvy and would like to learn what options are out there, here are some you can consider
6. Disable auto-connect
Your device might have auto-connect enabled, which would let it connect automatically to an open Wi-Fi. This can pose an obvious danger since you might not even be aware of such a connection. It is best to turn this feature off and assume full control.
If your organization or company needs help with enhancing security, Envision’s cyber security team can help. Schedule a call
with a member of our team for help.