Stay Secure While Traveling at Home and Abroad

Most of us get a kick at the chance to travel with our mobile devices (smartphones, laptops, or tablets) — whether going to the coffeehouse around the corner or to a bistro in a foreign destination. While these gadgets store data which makes it easy to remain connected, they can also wreak havoc on our lives if that data (including our contacts, photos, video recordings, geolocation, banking, and other sensitive information about ourselves and our loved ones) is compromised!

While traveling at home and abroad we should use some basic strategies to stay connected and remain cyber safe. Utilize the adaptable approaches below to protect yourself prior to, during, and after your trips, and even while you are on the move at home!

Before You Go

  • If possible, do not take your work or individual gadgets with you on worldwide treks. In the event that you do, remove or encrypt any secret information.
  • For global travel, consider utilizing temporary gadgets, for example, an inexpensive laptop and a prepaid cell phone bought particularly for travel. (For business travel, your manager may have particular guidelines about device use and traveling abroad.)
  • Install a "find my phone" like app or manager on your cell phone in the event that it is lost or stolen. Ensure it has remote wipe abilities and that you know how to do a remote wipe.
  • Ensure that any device is patched and up to date with the security software.
  • Makes duplicates of your travel records and any credit cards you're bringing with you. Leave the duplicates with a trusted person in the event that things are lost or stolen.
  • Utilize strong passwords, passcodes, or advanced mobile phone touch ID to lock and ensure your gadgets.
  • Avoid posting web-based social networking declarations about your travel arrangements.

While You're There

  • Physically protect yourself, your devices, and any identification documents (especially your passport).
  • Lock up your items in a safe if available.
  • Use credit cards and don’t bring your ATM card if possible. Also bring cash and use when possible.
  • It’s hard to resist sharing photos or telling friends and family about your adventures, but it’s best to wait to post about your trip on social media until you return home.
  • Never use the computers available in public areas, hotel business centers, or cyber cafés since they may be loaded with keyloggers and malware. If you use a device belonging to other travelers, colleagues, or friends, do not log in to email or any sensitive accounts.
  • Be careful when using public wireless networks or Wi-Fi hotspots; they’re not secure, so anyone could potentially see what you’re doing on your computer or mobile device while you’re connected.
  • Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use. Some stores and other locations search for devices with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled to track your movements when you’re within range.
  • Keep your devices with you at all times during your travels. Do not assume they will be safe in your hotel room or in a hotel safe.

When You Return

  • Change any and all passwords you may have used abroad.
  • Run full antivirus scans on your devices.
  • If you used a credit card while traveling, check your monthly statements for any discrepancies for at least one year after you return.
  • If you downloaded any apps specifically for your trip and no longer need them, be sure to delete those apps and the associated data.
  • Post all of your photos on social media and enjoy reliving the experience!