7 Cyber Security Tips You Need to Know While Travelling

One of the best things about modern technology is that it enables us to indulge in our digital lives and work remotely, no matter where we are.

Providing you have a laptop, smartphone, or tablet and a decent internet connection, the world is your digital oyster. So to speak.

But, how do you keep cyber safe while traveling? Threats from viruses and cyber criminals can be kept at bay, providing you follow these tips.

1. Be wary of public WiFi

There are public WiFi hotspots virtually everywhere these days, but it pays to be wary of them.

WiFi found in hotels, bars, restaurants and other public areas may not always be what it seems. Nefarious types are known for setting up fake WiFi hotspots in such locations to log onto customer devices and obtain personal data.

To avoid this, make sure you connect via a VPN or tether your device to your smartphone, if you can.

2. Use encryption

Encryption is one of the most effective ways to keep your data safe while travelling. It’s why services like WhatsApp use it to keep conversations between its users immune from hacking attempts.

There are different types of encryption available, depending on the platform you’re using:

  • Windows users – turn on Bitlocker
  • Mac users – read these tips on encrypting your Mac’s system drive and removable drives 

3. Enable 2-factor authentication

This is one of those security tactics that’s easy to dismiss for being too complicated, but it offers a significant degree of protection from cybercrime.

Two-factor authentication is available for most online services. You’ll retain your standard password login, but gain a second key that needs to be unlocked before access is granted.

Microsoft Office 365 is easy to set up for 2-factor for authentication, but be sure to investigate the other software and apps you rely on to see if they offer the same.

4. Only use strong passwords

It might be tempting to use the same easy password you’ve used for years, but in doing so, you’re potentially making it very simple for hackers to gain access to your important stuff.

Always use strong, complicated passwords, and pick different passwords for each service and device. A password manager will work wonders here by storing them for you and suggesting strong passwords whenever one needs setting up.

5. Keep everything up-to-date

Operating systems and apps are constantly updated by developers in order to protect users against the latest cyber threats. However, if you don’t keep your devices and software up-to-date, you won’t benefit from their hard work.

Make sure you turn on automatic updates, if available, or routinely check for updates during the week. Up-to-date software and operating systems will provide far better protection from viruses, hacking attempts and any vulnerabilities that might result from attaching your device to an unsafe network.

6. Avoid public computers for sensitive data use

If you need to work on something that is sensitive or highly confidential, avoid doing so on public computers.

The time you lose waiting to undertake the work on your own device is nothing compared to what might happen if your sensitive data is compromised on a public computer.

7. Install and update anti-virus software (even if you’re a Mac user!)

It’s impossible to overstate the value of having regularly updated anti-virus and anti-malware software on your devices.

This has long been the case for Windows devices, but there’s something of a misnomer that you don’t need to worry quite so much if you’re on a Mac. In reality, viruses and malware can hit any device, so keep your defence systems current and up-to-date! 

And finally: don’t panic!

It should be stressed that the chances of you being hacked while travelling are relatively small, but that doesn’t mean you can be complacent.

Our tips above will set you in good stead to remain cyber-aware and secure during your travels, but if we’ve raised any questions, our team of experts would be happy to have a chat.