How to Make Your Next Business Trip Safe From Cyber Attacks
Business travel has become increasingly more dangerous due to cyber attacks; both random and selective. Hackers are capable of getting into your mobile device, computer or cards and stealing your data without you even knowing. It is extremely necessary to take steps to harden your digital assets and adopt security measures, especially when you travel.
Before you Travel
To start with, decide on what digital devices that are absolutely necessary, and leave the rest behind. Use encryption on all of your devices that you decide to bring. Unless your device has been confiscated by a government, a hacker or thief will not be able to access your data, if you have a good password or screen lock. Make certain that all sensitive data is removed or encrypted, and back up both computer and mobile devices before you leave. Also, make certain that your antivirus software is up to date, as well as your operating system software and apps.
If possible, do not take your driver’s license, or at least do not use it for identification purposes. You should instead use your passport for ID, even for domestic travel. The reason for this is that there is far too much information about you on your drivers’ license that can be stolen. If you do have to take your driver’s license, use an RFID-blocking wallet, or RFID-blocking card sleeves for your license, as well as all other cards. To be extra safe you can use both sleeves and wallet.
Many establishments that serve or sell liquor now use drivers’-license card readers to check for the legal drinking age. Bars and restaurants can be specifically dangerous, because once you are inside and use your credit card, your name and address, which they’ve gotten from your drivers’ license, can now be correlated with your credit card purchase. Additionally, your picture can be stolen, as well. This can all be sold to cyber criminals.
For the devices that you do bring, the only way to know that they have not been physically tampered with or will not be stolen from your hotel room is to have them on you at all times. Now that digital devices have become small and lightweight, it is no longer cumbersome to keep your devices in your possession at all times. If your using an older, heavier laptop, it is probably time to upgrade anyway.
Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
Public Wi-Fi hotspots are not secure, and any information you send through websites or mobile apps could be accessed by hackers. Do not use them for conducting business, banking, or online shopping. If your business has a VPN (Virtual Private Network), this is the best way to go, because even you are hacked, your data will be strongly encrypted. If you do not have a VPN, and travel often, you should strongly consider getting one. Bluetooth devices can also be hacked, so turn them off when possible. Also, carry your own external battery charger, because your devices can be hacked at public charging stations.