Staying Safe While Traveling for Business or Pleasure
While we would all like to leave work at work sometimes those nagging e-mails are too much to ignore, while on the road for business or pleasure you might find yourself out and about and needing to answer a question on Teams or through which ever email client you use.
While you’re out and about here’s a few tips to keep in mind when using your work or personal device.
- Be mindful of where you are
getting your data.
IBM recently released a survey that showed a disconnect between security habits and traveling. Only 40% of polled travelers said they believed it to be likely they would be targeted by cybercriminals while traveling. 70% of those polled engaged in practices that are considered high-risk. Keep in mind that anything you do can be monitored on a public wi-fi network and those networks can be hijacked or even deployed by hackers for the express purpose of stealing your data. The same tactics can be used with a public USB charging station. Make sure you use a VPN when using public wi-fi, and never send personal data out when using a public wi-fi network. Never use a public USB hub to charge a device, bring along a separate battery if you must charge your phone.
- Be phishing aware, phishing is much more difficult to detect while on a cellphone.
Phishing is something we all need to be aware of, no matter if we are at home or work. It is much more difficult to detect a phishing email when you’re on your mobile phone. Some of the most important details in a phishing email such as checking a return email address or hovering over a link isn’t available to you while you’re using your cellphone. This makes detecting a phishing email much more difficult. If you have the slightest doubt about an email, wait to respond to it till you can verify its sender and any links present in the email.
- Avoid social engineering.
A common scam is any email that has a time sensitive component. Making you feel like you need to answer an email immediately. This is a social engineering trick that leverages your instinct to react instead of stopping and thinking about your course of action. A job offer that might be gone before you answer the “recruiter” or a critical situation with a bank account or credit card. Never react to an email that seems out of the ordinary, or too good to be true. Stop, consider and look for any details that might give away a fraud or make you uneasy.
- Protect yourself while traveling
Always consider, your data is valuable to someone. Protect it like you’d protect your wallet or purse. Don’t leave your phone unattended, make sure you have a lock screen engaged on your phone or laptop. Link your phone and PC using Dynamic Lock. Make sure you phone isn’t set to access Wi-Fi hotspots without prompting you. Turn off any unneeded connectivity (like NFC or Bluetooth). Look up once in a while, take note of your surroundings. Add tracking tools to your phone in case you do manage to lose it, or it is stolen. Don’t post your location to Facebook or post your vacation plans to any social media, you never know who’s receiving those posts. Always keep a record or digital photo of your most important documents, if you do have issues you can pull those up at a moment’s notice. Have them stored in two places, a cloud directory and a physical hard drive that doesn’t remain connected to a computer.
With these few ideas you'll be that much safer when traveling no matter where you're going or why.