So, it’s that time again when we come out of our Christmas comfort bubble and jump right back into work and the everyday routine. To help make this transition just a little bit easier, many of us will start planning our annual holidays for 2023. After all, it’s something to look forward to, right?
With how accessible phones are these days, it’s crucial that we take great care of them – especially when travelling abroad. It’s not difficult to imagine the number of people that use the internet whilst they are travelling. This number only continues to grow, but so does the cyber security risk along with it. However, despite this, there is a vast number of ways that you can protect yourself from becoming targeted by a cyber attacker whilst travelling. Explore our travel cyber security tips and keep your data safe!
Use a VPN
Have you heard of a virtual private network (VPN)? Whether you are walking to work or traveling abroad, a VPN is a secure network that you can use at any time both in and outside of your home. The way in which a VPN works is simple. As you use the internet, your VPN will encrypt the newfound traffic into a secure connection which makes it difficult for cyber criminals to access and exploit. Our travel cyber security tips recommend using a VPN rather than a public Wi-Fi network. Seeing as Wi-Fi networks tend to not be secure and can easily be intercepted by a cyber attacker.
There are many different VPN providers available on the market, you can view our past article here to help you find the most suitable one for you. Most of these VPNs can easily be integrated with the majority of devices including phones, PCs, tablets, and even consoles!
Something to note is that if you choose not to use your home country as your VPN location, certain services, and streaming apps may no longer be available for you to use. It is always good practice to keep your region accurate.
Nowadays with cyber crime on the rise, the best way to secure your data is by backing it up regularly. Even some of the biggest organisations in the world that have big budgets set aside for cyber security, still fall victim to cyber crime. Truthfully there isn’t anything that will make you 100% bulletproof from a cyber attack. However, you can lower the risk by being proactive with your data security.
Losing your data can be crippling for a business. It can cause detrimental damage to its normal operations. By backing up your data, you are creating a digital copy of your files that can be stored outside of your IT infrastructure. Therefore if a disaster hits, you don’t have to worry about the potential loss of data. The same strategy applies when traveling. Therefore as our travel cyber security tips advise, by backing up your data you have the option to retrieve it easily in the event of a cyber attack.
Most websites and apps have already implemented and continue to reinforce two-factor authentication (2FA). This is one of the top most important and effective security measures against account and data theft. Essentially, it adds an additional layer of security where the account holder will be required to provide secondary proof (such as a text code) to prove their identity.
Therefore, if you have 2FA enabled on your account. Even if the cyber attacker knows your password, they would have trouble gaining access to your account unless they have your mobile device in possession.
A popular type of cyber crime is phishing. This malicious act involves a cyber attacker tricking its target into downloading an infected file, or clicking on a malware infested link. Most phishing scams involve the impersonation of someone that you know/ trust, such as an employee or a manager.
A large number of users don’t think to question or further analyse an email when they see it has been sent from someone familiar. This is why phishing scams are so successful.
If you receive an email from someone you were not expecting (even if you know them) always check for phishing signs such as:
Email address and domain do not match
Urgency to action something in the email
Whether the email is legitimate or not, you need to stay vigilant and cautious. If you are unsure, the safer option is to not click or download anything.
Keep your phone up-to-date
With any device that is in your possession, you are expected to perform and manage your software updates. It may seem like a hassle, but it is one of the best ways to protect your device from a cyber attack.
Software updates always feature patches for vulnerabilities that were found in the previous version and aim to protect you from the most recent cyber threats. Failing to keep your device up to date, could put you at risk of a cyber attack. Software vulnerabilities make it much easier for cyber attackers to hack into the system and take control of your data.
The more recent mobile models allow for your updates to occur automatically. If you know that you are unlikely to act on an update when it comes out, make sure to make them automatic in your settings.
The points that we have outlined in this post all contribute to one thing. To keep you and your device safe from cyber criminals when traveling abroad. Anyone who owns a device and uses the internet needs to take the necessary precautions to prevent unauthorised individuals from gaining access to their personal information.