Many Americans travel frequently for one reason or another. Maybe you’re heading to a sunny beach to take the daily grind or visit family and friends over the holidays to create special memories that will last a lifetime.
Or you may be a businessman who is constantly traveling for work. No matter what is the reason for your visit, you must be on the lookout for cybercriminals who are trying to steal your important information.
That’s why you need to know these tips to protect your personal data while traveling.
don’t take it with you
Let’s start with the most common sense approach to protecting your personal data. If you don’t need it, leave it at home.
I know, I know, it’s scary to think about traveling without all of your gadgets by your side. Especially nowadays when they provide so much entertainment which helps to pass the time while traveling.
But honestly, if you don’t need your laptop or tablet while you’re away, the safest place for them is home. If your gadget is not with you, hackers will not be able to steal your data. One thing you can do is buy a cheap tablet just for entertainment purposes on which you never mind sensitive business.
If you have to take a gadget with you, be sure to remove all important data before you leave. Back up the devices you’re traveling with before you go. If a cybercriminal finds a way to access your gadget, remove things like financial statements and other sensitive documents.
It’s not just gadgets you need to worry about. Take only those credit cards that you are going to use with you. The ones you are not going to use are safe in a safe place in your home.
Be aware of gadget security
The way cybercriminals dupe us is by stealing our login credentials on the websites we visit. Think about all the sensitive information that will be exposed if someone else gets into your accounts. For example, if you shop with online retailers and a hacker logs into your account they can access your home address, phone number, and payment information, among other things.
Here’s a way to protect your creditworthiness every time you travel. Change your passwords for the sites you’re going to use while you’re on the go. Then, change them again when the trip is over.
Also, make sure your gadgets are as secure as possible. Password protect your devices so that no one else can access them in case they are lost or stolen. If you have the new iPhone X, set up facial recognition to keep criminals out.
Another thing you should do is have your antivirus software and operating system up to date. Updates come with security patches that fix vulnerabilities to keep cybercriminals out.
The next suggestion is to turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi completely. When Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled, your gadget searches for available networks to connect to. Cybercriminals can use those connections to track your activity and steal sensitive data.
Use a VPN While Surfing the Internet
You may have heard of a virtual private network, or VPN, in short, as a way to boost your online security, especially when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. It’s also a good way to hide your internet tracks from potential spies.
Simply put, a VPN service lets you create an encrypted connection with one of its servers, and you use that server to browse the Internet. The connection through the server is encrypted, so the VPN can’t even see your traffic. OK, it’s a little more complicated than it is behind the scenes, but this is the result.
Think of it as a middleman providing a tunnel between you and the websites you are visiting. With a VPN, your IP address can be hidden from prying eyes, even from your ISP, so your browsing activity cannot be easily tracked.
A VPN is extremely useful when connecting to public Wi-Fi spots as it prevents snoops from intercepting your web traffic. Using one can protect your activity from being spied on by advertisers, hackers, and even government agencies or your ISP.
Make sure the websites you visit are secure
Internet surfing has become common these days. Most of us have our favorite websites that we check every day.
However, some of the sites we visit may be security risks. This is because they are not using encryption like all banks and financial institutions.
There are also sites that use encryption, but stop doing so once you’re signed in. This leaves you vulnerable and open to hackers and malicious viruses.