It’s essential to keep your data safe, whether traveling for a business meeting or taking a vacation from your everyday worries. The risk is higher if you are carrying sensitive information on your devices.

Your data can be compromised when booking for vacation and travel or using open Wi-Fi connections at the airport or in your hotel room. In addition, how much personal information you share on social media about your vacation could also put you at risk.

Possible Cyber Security Threats When Traveling

According to tech experts, cybersecurity risks to individuals and organizations increase when traveling. It’s, therefore, essential to stay vigilant and more cautious when abroad on vacation or during a business meeting. Some of the most common cybersecurity threats when traveling include:

Using Outdated Public Computers

Publicly available computers at hotels and cafes are very convenient for accessing the internet when traveling. However, most of these computers are unsecure or have outdated software, increasing the risk of data breaches and other cyberattacks. In addition to avoiding using these computers to access sensitive information over the internet, you should also have a data breach plan. With such a plan, your data is safe in case of a data breach when using a public or personal computer with outdated software. 

Device Theft

Travelers are often the main target of theft. In addition, thieves stay on the lookout for unattended equipment in hotel rooms and during conventions. You should, therefore, be cautious about where you put your devices to avoid being a victim of theft. 

Open Public Wi-Fi Connection

Public Wi-Fis are a convenient way for travelers to access the internet. However, they also pose a high cybersecurity risk. These connections are unsecured, allowing hackers to intercept your network and access sensitive information such as your bank details, passwords, and credit card information. 

Bluetooth Connectivity

If you leave your Bluetooth connection on and discoverable when in a public place, hackers can use it to send malware to your devices. They can later use the malware to access your sensitive information. The most creepy thing is that cybersecurity criminals can use your open Bluetooth connection to track your every move when abroad silently. 

How to Overcome Cybersecurity Threats When Traveling

Given the gravity of damage that data security risks pose, you must stay vigilant by practicing these best measures that promote cybersecurity

Always Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

Operating systems come with an in-built security system. Manufacturers enhance the security of your device by releasing regular updates. Make sure you download and install the OS and app updates every time the developers release new updates. You should also ensure you have the latest security patch installed to maximize your cybersecurity when traveling.

Enable Passcodes and Passwords on Your Device

A password acts as the first line of defense on your device against any unauthorized access. For example, if your device gets lost when traveling, the thief will have difficulty accessing your information when you have the password/code enabled. Therefore, when creating passwords for your accounts and devices, make them strong and hard to crack for hackers. 

For additional security, you must enable two-factor authentication on all your accounts. If anyone tries to access your accounts maliciously, they’ll be asked for a one-time password (OTP) that is sent to your mobile phone. Failure to insert the OTP locks that hacker out of your account.

Limit Your Internet Usage to Password Protected Wi-Fi

Using password-protected Wi-Fi is your safest option when traveling abroad. However, if you must access the internet via public computers, be sure to practice safe surfing by opening sites that start with HTTPS extension on their address. Such a site encrypts all your data, making it hard for anyone with malicious intentions to spy on you. You should also make sure you log out all your accounts before leaving the public computer.

Ensure that Your Bluetooth Is Off and Undiscoverable When Not in Use

Turning off your Bluetooth and putting it undiscoverable denies hackers an opportunity to exploit you. Leaving your Bluetooth on makes it accessible to malicious hackers who use special antennas that help them intercept your Bluetooth signal from as far as 100 feet away or more. Avoid becoming prey to these criminals by turning it off when traveling. 

Disable the Auto Connect Feature on Your Device

Disabling the auto-connect feature prevents your devices from connecting to unsecured networks and other malicious connections. You can further protect yourself from public networks by using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts your internet connection and turns any available public network into a private one. If anyone tries to access your device via a public network, the VPN provides an encryption key that is hard to crack. 

Final Thoughts

In addition to the above cybersecurity precautionary measures when traveling, you must be on the lookout for possible malicious attacks. For instance, before you retire for the day, you should always check your account for any suspicious login attempt. If someone has tampered with any of your accounts or devices, consider changing the security passcode to something unique and complex.