Travelling has never been more affordable, convenient and easy with all the seat sales, travel blogs and apps. Thanks to the internet, booking and searching for information is within our fingertips.
Fortunately, electronic devices such as smartphones, phablets, laptops, and other gadgets can be used for searching all necessary information like how to get to a specific destination, where to eat or shop, what is the exchange rate, or what’s gonna be the weather like and that makes the most out of your travel without any hassle as it is constantly updated.
When we’re on the go, we normally want to have an internet connection to communicate or just to simply share an update. However, connecting to the internet with your gadgets, especially over public network services, expose you to risks.
Cybersecurity Threats of Traveling with Mobile Electronic Devices
As you travel using your internet-powered mobile devices, you expose yourself to the following risks:
Unsecured Wi-Fi networks
The fact that anyone can use public Wi-Fi networks in hotels, airports, or restaurants means they are also prone to being attacked by hackers, and that means cybercriminals can gain access into your communication devices.
Publicly shared computers
Shared computers found in hotel business centers, public libraries, or shopping facilities cannot be presumed safe either. There’s the possibility that they are not protected with antivirus software, and if you’re using your USB, your files are in danger of being corrupted.
Another risk of using public computers is that your browsing history may be visible to the next user and it can probably remember every detail you entered in any form while you were using it.
Fake hotspots or Bluetooth connections
Fake hotspots can be used by hackers to deceive you into connecting your device to a phony network. Similarly, Bluetooth connections may expose your username, password, credit card or bank information, and important personal data to other users.
Social engineering attacks
Sharing your activities on social media platforms or location via GPS can pave the way for unscrupulous individuals to use your information to their advantage. They may track your whereabouts and pretend to represent one of your service providers such as your hotel or car rental company to charge you on your credit card.
Physical theft of devices
When you’re out and about traveling, there’s a chance that you might leave behind or misplace your device, and it goes without saying that dishonest people and thieves are only waiting to snatch it away, as well as all the data stored in it.
Cybersecurity Tips for Travelers
Before you connect, check and think!
Is the network legit? To find out, only ask authorized staff from the airport, airline, hotel, or restaurant the exact name of the network, as well as the login information. It’s also recommended that you adjust the settings of your device so that it does not connect automatically to available networks.
Stop clicking away
When using a public Wi-Fi network, limit your online activities to searching for information instead of submitting your personal data on banking or shopping sites, which require you to supply your credit card details.
Backup your data
As part of disaster recovery measures, store your most sensitive data in an external drive to serve as backup if you ever lose your electronic device. Also, don’t carry your hard drive around while traveling if it’s not necessary anyway.
Update your software
It’s always advisable to use the most updated OS, antivirus software, browser, and applications as they come with improved security features.
Mix different sets of passwords
Assuming that everything you do can leave traces of your identity on the sites that you visit, this security tip can give you extra protection from possible cyber attacks.
Use a temporary device
As much as possible, try leaving your personal or work devices, whether it’s your smartphone, laptop, or hard drive behind when you travel. You can bring with you a temporary device that has little data stored in it to keep security threats to a minimum level.
Secure your devices at all times
Never lose your hold on your gadgets when you’re in public places as anyone can quickly run away with it. Safely tuck it in your pocket or bag when you’re not using it or keep it in the hotel safe if there’s no need for you to be mobile. Since cybersecurity threats abound everywhere, the more you need to develop good security habits in handling and using your devices while you travel, or you risk losing not only your peace of mind but your most precious data as well.