UNITED STATES—A large part of our life is directly linked to portable devices, laptops and mobile phones. We work, communicate, share content, go shopping, and do many other things with their help. Nevertheless, the more sensitive information gets into the network, the more hacking and fraud schemes using other people’s accounts appear.
Most people are aware of cybersecurity requirements being at home. They install advanced antivirus and security systems like Norton and Intego. One can read about them and compare to see that they are vital for controlling access to devices and protecting against digital threats.
However, people are usually vulnerable and more inattentive when traveling, as they often prefer convenience over safety. This article has collected the basic rules to help protect your data when you travel somewhere.
Security Needs You to Be Attentive
When a person travels, there are plenty of cybersecurity threats and risks around. They may refer to different banking systems, unknown platforms, public networks, and just hackers waiting for you to make a small mistake. Just imagine that you have a working laptop with you or a mobile device with all the info about cards and access to working documents. Thus, it is essential to know where to look for and what to be cautious about.
Two-factor authentication and password manager
Two-factor authentication allows you to sign in with any service in two stages. As a rule, you need to enter your username and password at the first stage. And the second stage requires a unique code that arrives on your mobile phone or email. Activate two-factor authentication wherever it is possible. The most important are your mailbox, Google accounts, bank accounts, and social networks.
Use a password manager and set complex and unique passwords for all accounts containing confidential information. For example, passwords for email, social networks, and bank accounts should never be used on other sites.
Public Internet Networks
Choose public Wi-Fi networks carefully. Never leave your personal information where you don’t need it. For example, when connecting to a public Wi-Fi at an airport or cafe. Cybercriminals can easily create a free Wi-Fi network and then steal valuable information, including payment card details. Intrusion is possible even in legitimate systems.
Therefore, it is best to avoid public Wi-Fi, where it is possible, and also use a VPN for more security. Again, turn off the auto-connect function on your devices. This applies to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and connecting to other networks.
Apply the option of the pin code for your cell phone and network usage. In particular, it refers to a SIM card. The default settings determine that almost all SIM cards have a four zeros PIN code. It can be easily changed in the phone settings or the personal account of the mobile operator website.
If your phone is stolen, then attackers can simply insert your SIM card without a pin code into a new phone and try to log in even those services where you have two-factor authentication enabled.
Find My Phone
Turn on the Find My Phone option. With its help, you can enter your personal account from any device, track the device’s location, turn on a loud signal on it, delete data, or block it remotely.
Password on laptop and data encryption
Use password-protected login on your laptop. Sure, it won’t protect you against professional hackers. But it will become an obstacle for random people who decide to profit from your data. Sometimes it is easier to reset the system than hack it trying to get some confidential information.
Data encryption is a more reliable way to keep your data safe. There are different services for Windows and macOS, Android, and iOS, including hard drive encoding.
You might think that the following piece sounds like a name of a spy story. However, it is not; there are threats you didn’t even think of. For instance, public USB hacking or juice jacking can lead to data loss.
This method allows hackers to not only copy your financial and other data but also block devices to demand ransomware by using public USB chargers. Thus, do not charge your devices at airports or other spots with USB ports and shared cables.
The use of protective software or your own cables can help to block the transfer of data. The latter will allow the use of wires only for charging. Lastly, to not become a victim, use shielding accessories when you want to be 100% sure of your own safety.
Banking card protection
Be careful when paying with a Paypass or Google Pay. Think twice before paying by phone in stores or restaurants where payment protection may not be available. You can ask the seller, waiter, or administrator about whether a particular institution provides secure payment.
Besides, for instance, in the subway, beware of those who are around you. Some pickpockets use terminals to get small amounts from your cards or digital wallets, as, usually, the small payments don’t need your verification.
Lastly, when having doubts, pay in cash. If you want to use an ATM, do it in a bank or at the airport. In these places, the attackers are less likely to install skimmers and read your data.