Can You Protect Your Data Whilst Travelling?

Photo Credit: Frederik Lipfert
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When you’re preparing to go travelling, the last thing on your mind will be how you’re going to keep your data secure. It’s certainly important, and here’s how to do it. 

Going out on your travels? Then you’ll no doubt be making meticulous plans about what you’re going to bring with you, where you going to be heading and, of course, how much sunscreen you’re going to have to bring with you. But what about making plans to keep your data secure?

It probably wasn’t the first thing on your mind, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important! Data breaches, no matter how seemingly small or harmless, can have devastating consequences. It’s often even more difficult to keep track of what is happening with your data when you’re away from home.

For that reason, this post will be covering everything you need to know to avoid an airport or hotel data breach, and what you can do to avoid becoming a victim!

What Might Happen If Your Data Isn’t Protected

Due to the relative ease at which cybercriminals can access our data, breaches are growing increasingly common, both on a personal and commercial level. There’s no two ways about it – the consequences of losing your data can be severe.

Financial Loss

The most immediate consequence of a data breach is financial loss. If you have bank account details out in the open, they can be accessed by cybercriminals who will use them for their own purposes.

Identity Theft or Fraud

So much of our personal information is stored on our devices and online profiles, it’s easy for it to be used by criminals in a fraudulent manner, where someone can essentially ‘pose’ as you online.

General Health Concerns

Losing your data is stressful and will lead to plenty of restless nights. The anxiety that comes hand in hand with losing your data is often too much for some people to cope with, especially as some of the information that can be incredibly sensitive.

Tips for Keeping Data Secure When Travelling

So, what exactly can you do to make sure your data is secure while you’re travelling abroad? These tips should give you a better idea!

Book a Trip on a Secure Website

When you’re first planning your trip, you need to start by booking on a secure website. You will be able to tell if a website is secure when it starts with “HTTPS”. Another way of being able to tell if a site is secure is if a padlock symbol is displayed next to the URL at the top of the page.

It’s also a good idea to only visit sites that are secured while you’re travelling so you can be sure that you’re not running the risk of entering a dangerous site.

Make Sure All Devices Are Password Protected

Sounds simple, but it’s amazing how many people don’t have any passwords or PIN codes on their devices. It’s the first line of protection you have if you end up losing a device while you’re travelling, so it’s absolutely vital that you have them set up!

While we’re on this topic, don’t be tempted to enter something as simple as ‘1234’ or ‘password’. Everybody knows that these are going to be the first combinations someone would attempt if they ended up in possession of your device, so don’t be that predictable.

Be Aware of Using Public WiFi

Free and unrestricted WiFi access sounds great, right? It saves you from having to burn through your phone data, after all. But be warned – public WiFi isn’t always going to be the best option available to you.

There’s always a chance that the public WiFi you’re trying to connect to (such as in a hotel) is being run by someone who is trying to trick people into connecting, before accessing all of your login information and passwords. Be wary!

Disable Auto Connect for WiFi and Bluetooth

There’s a chance that you have ‘auto connect’ turned on for both WiFi and Bluetooth. For the reasons we outlined in the previous point, it’s vital that you disable these options while you’re travelling.

If you have auto connect enabled, you run the risk of connecting to an unsecure network, and we all know how bad that could be.

Always Have Anti-Virus Software Installed on Your Devices

If you’ve got anti-virus software installed on your devices, then you rest assured that you’ll be well covered if you accidentally find yourself on a dangerous site while you’re travelling. This can also help if you accidentally download a harmful attachment.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t stay vigilant when you’re using your devices – you still should!

Update Your Passwords Before You Travel

If you think that your passwords aren’t the most creative or secure, then it might be worth reviewing them before you head out travelling.

A good tip to always keep in mind is to never use the same password for two accounts. If someone is able to access one of your accounts, then having the same password across the board isn’t going to be very helpful.

Consider Using a VPN

Many people think that VPNs are only used by people who are trying to hide what they’re doing when they use the internet. On the contrary, VPNs serve a range of different purposes, including to encrypt your data if you have no choice but to use public WiFi.

You’ll likely have to pay for a reliable VPN, but plenty of different providers offer a free trial which you can make the most of while you’re travelling.

Are You Ready to Keep Your Data Secure While You’re Travelling?

So, with all that information, you should be all set up to keep your data secure while you travel. The best piece of advice we can give is to always be sensible and don’t take any unnecessary risks when it comes to managing your data – you can never be too safe!

Are you already a seasoned traveller? Have any other tips related to keeping data secure while travelling? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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