Technology has become an integral part of our lives, so it inevitably comes with us when we travel. However, just because you are taking a vacation from work doesn't mean you can take a vacation from cybersecurity. When you go on a trip, dealing with a hack is the last thing you want to do. Travel smarter and more securely by doing several checks before you go. Our handy tech travel checklist can save you from suffering from lost devices, missing chargers, or a data breach.
Secure Your Physical Devices
This is not just a cybersecurity tip but also a general travel one. It makes a hacker's job of breaching your devices way easier when they can get their hands on the physical devices themselves. Make sure you keep track of your devices and take steps to ensure they are not stolen. Never leave your devices unattended, and it is always a good idea to lock them when you are not actively using them.
Add a VPN
Free wifi may seem like a good deal, but it is actually quite dangerous if treated like any other wifi. Public wifi is, by its nature, open to the public, meaning that any hacker can connect and can easily steal any unencrypted data. It's far safer to either use your mobile carrier connection or a virtual private network (VPN) app. VPN plans are a wise investment that will keep your data encrypted, even if you're on public wifi.
Create a Data Backup
Unfortunately, mishaps occur when traveling, and devices get lost or stolen. 10% of all laptop thefts happen in airports. Thankfully, if precautions are taken, even if you lose your device, you don't automatically lose all your data on the device! It is a good idea to back up your devices to the cloud or local storage before you travel to ensure that you won't lose any valuable information on your device. You also won't need to think twice about enacting a remote "wipe my device" command if it does get lost or stolen.
Check/Update Your Device Security
Of course, all of the standard steps to make your devices as secure as possible should also be in effect when you travel. Travel is a perfect reason to double-check and, if necessary, update your devices' security. Protect your devices before you go using:
- DNS filtering
- Screen lock with passcode
- Sharing features turned off
- VPN application
- Find-My-Device feature turned on
Have Double-Checks In Place
If you are traveling in a group, each individual should check with the others that they have all their devices. If you're traveling alone, you could have a friend or family member send reminder texts, or you could set up automatic reminders.