Tips to Keep Devices & Accounts Secure While You Travel

October 22, 2020

It’s easy to take our online security for granted when we travel, especially given the number of other things to focus on during a trip. There are things you can do before and while on a trip that we learned from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency to make sure your data is safe.

 

Tips to Stay Safe Before You Travel…

If You Connect IT, Protect IT
Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, or another network device, the best defense against viruses and malware is updating the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. Sign up for automatic updates and protect your devices with anti-virus software.

Keep a Back-up of Your Information
Save your contacts, financial data, photos, videos, and data to another storage space or cloud service in case your device is compromised, and you have to reset it back to factory settings.

Double Your Login Protection
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires a login. If MFA is an option, enable it using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a security token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.

 

Tips to Stay Safe During Your Trip…

Stop Auto Connecting
Some devices will automatically seek and connect to available wireless networks or Bluetooth devices. This instant connection opens the door for cybercriminals to access your devices remotely. Disable these features so that you actively choose when to connect to a secure network.

Stay Protected While Connected
Before you connect to any public wireless hotspot—such as an airport, hotel, or restaurant—be sure to confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate. If you do use an unsecured public access point, avoid sensitive activities (like online banking) that require passwords or credit cards. Only use sites that begin with “https://” when online shopping or banking.

Play Hard to Get with Strangers
Cybercriminals use phishing tactics, hoping to fool their victims. If you’re unsure who an email is from—even if the details appear accurate—or if the email looks “phishy,” do not respond and do not click on any links or attachments found in that email. When available, use the “junk” or “block” option to no longer receive messages from a particular sender.

Never Click and Tell
Limit what information you post on social media—from personal addresses to where you like to grab a coffee. Many people don’t realize that these seemingly random details are all that criminals need to know to target you and your loved ones. Keep specific information private, such as your full name, address, birthday, and especially vacation plans. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are—and where you aren’t— at any given time.

Guard Your Mobile Devices
Prevent theft and unauthorized access or loss of sensitive information by never leaving your equipment—including any USB or external storage devices—unattended in a public place. Keep your devices secured in taxis, at airports, on airplanes, and in your hotel room.

 

For more information  on how to #BeCyberSmart, visit www.cisa.gov/ncsam