7 Cybersecurity Tips for Frequent Travelers

By Zachary Amos, Features Editor at ReHack

With cyber theft on the rise, people have started to take their cybersecurity more seriously. Those who often travel, whether for work or leisure, can find themselves susceptible to hackers trying to steal their information. These seven cybersecurity tips will help frequent travelers keep their devices and data safe while on the road.

  1. Update Your Systems

When someone goes on the road, their cybersecurity is at risk in unfamiliar networks. One excellent way to keep devices safe is to keep them updated. Operating systems (OS) and apps often release updates with security patches. These updates cover any bugs or vulnerabilities found within the software. Regularly updating software is a practical, easy step in keeping devices safe.

  1. Use a Password Manager

Using complicated passwords is a good start for thwarting hackers trying to access information. Still, there are extra steps travelers need to take. One better way to handle passwords is with a password manager. On a public Wi-Fi network, hackers can monitor the activity of others on the network and see what they’re typing. A password manager can input the code for you.

Password managers are beneficial because they generate a random password for you and they’ll be stronger than the common codes people use. The only password a person needs to know is the one to access their password manager account. This software is advantageous for travelers because they can use the same password manager across multiple devices.

  1. Secure the Zoom Meeting

Frequent travelers may often find themselves in virtual meetings using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and more. While they may seem secure, there are security risks associated with these conferences, especially when away from company Wi-Fi.

The use of virtual meetings has increased since the pandemic, with many employees using telework. Zoom became particularly popular, but it has faced accusations of not taking care of the information of its users. For example, some allegations say Zoom leaks users’ email addresses and pictures. Others say that Zoom sends iOS user data to Facebook even if they don’t have a Facebook account.

There are ways to circumvent these vulnerabilities. To minimize the risk, travelers using Zoom should require passwords for their meetings. This strategy ensures only those with the passcode can enter the conference. Also, organizers should turn on the waiting room feature so only permitted participants can join the meeting.

  1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi

In general, it’s best to avoid public Wi-Fi. Sometimes travelers are stuck in an area where a public network is the only place they can get internet. Visitors in a foreign country should proceed cautiously because the data privacy laws will likely differ from those in the United States.

If you have no other option, public Wi-Fi will suffice. But refrain from logging into accounts or accessing sensitive information while on the network.

  1. Get a VPN

If a traveler needs to use public Wi-Fi, one of the best ways they can boost their security is with a virtual private network (VPN). This network masks a user’s IP address and protects their data from theft while using their computer. VPNs use encryption to shield communications and scramble their data, so hackers are unable to access information easily.

VPNs are helpful for situations where travelers need to access sensitive data, even though they’re on the road and are wary of the current Wi-Fi network they’re on. Another advantage of a VPN is that it allows for faster streaming and better bandwidth, creating better quality for streams and virtual meetings. Though they’re secure, these networks aren’t foolproof. But, they offer much better cybersecurity than any public network frequent travelers may encounter.

  1. Turn Off Bluetooth

Bluetooth can be an excellent tool for travelers on the road. With this connection, users can reduce the number of cables they have to deal with and eliminate the risk of a dongle going missing. However, Bluetooth does have cybersecurity liabilities that people should be aware of.

When possible, turn Bluetooth off for your devices when you’re not using them. When it’s left on, hackers can use Bluetooth to connect to your devices and steal the information inside. Bluetooth signals can travel in any direction, so users should turn it off when they’re not using it, especially in a public setting.

  1. Use Cloud Services

When on the road, one of the best cybersecurity strategies a user can implement is using cloud services. Before hitting the road, travelers should back up their information to the cloud. This tactic saves time and money if a hacker gains access to their information.

When data is in the cloud, restoring lost information becomes much more straightforward. With the workplace becoming further decentralized, cloud services are helpful because travelers can access the server using any device from any location their work takes them.

Cloud computing is also an effective way to prevent ransomware attacks. In this type of cyber theft, a hacker will try to steal a user’s information and hold it for ransom, threatening deletion if the criminal doesn’t receive a monetary payment. Backing up data on a cloud is one of the best ways to mitigate the threat of ransomware.

Staying Safe on the Road Again

Cybersecurity has become a priority for many in the last few years. Cyber threats increased by 81% worldwide during the pandemic, so people and businesses have taken measures to strengthen their cybersecurity. People who travel often can be vulnerable to cyber theft because of Bluetooth, public Wi-Fi, and other factors. These seven tips will help any frequent traveler stay safe with their cybersecurity.

As the Features Editor at ReHack, Zac Amos writes about cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and other tech topics. He is a frequent contributor to Brilliance Security Magazine.



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