In today’s digital world, a lot is going on through the internet — most are good and pleasant things, but cybercrimes remain a significant threat. There are countless cybercriminals waiting for any chance to steal your personal and sensitive information to commit fraud. If you are a frequent traveller, you are more exposed to such crimes than anyone else because, in most cases, you have no control over the internet connection you are using.
Cybersecurity experts say that you must never forget that someone could be watching your online activities. It is crucial to remain vigilant at all times, especially when you are travelling, to stop anyone from taking advantage of your vulnerabilities. That said, here are some cybersecurity tips for every traveller. Apply them on all devices and stay safe!
Public Wi-Fi Should Be a No-Go-Zone
Most cybercriminals know that people love free things, and a free Wi-Fi connection is a great idea to attract unsuspecting victims. As a business or leisure traveller with few options available for your internet connection, remember that free Wi-Fi access could be a trap for you to encounter cyber theft. Always be cautious when connecting to Wi-Fi connections, especially the unencrypted ones. If you still have to use one of them, avoid accessing any sensitive data in your device such as your bank account. Since most hotels have free Wi-Fi, always ensure that their security protocol is safe enough for your needs.
Lock All Your Devices
Almost all devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops, allow users to lock devices from unauthorized access through their security settings. Even if you prefer having no pin, fingerprint ID, or pattern on your devices, you need to reconsider this choice when you are travelling. It is possible to misplace or lose your devices during your travel, and if any of them carrying your sensitive information is an open book, things can go south rather quickly. A lock will not only prevent a cybercriminal from accessing your device but can also be used as protection in case of a security breach.
Take Advantage of a good VPN
A VPN is a software that keeps you anonymous when connected to the internet and protects you from cybercrimes. A good VPN should always encrypt your data, regardless of the connection that you are using. Also, make sure that it does not keep logs that someone can use to access your devices later. That’s why we prefer NordVPN because they don’t keep logs, and your security is assured as long as it is turned on. It might cost you some money if you are using the premium package, but it’s all worth it since you not only get secured but also get to dodge Geo-blocks — allowing you to access sites that you couldn’t without the VPN.
Deactivate Auto-Connect Option
Almost every device has this option on Wi-Fi connectivity settings, and while it’s good when used at work or home, you need to de-activate it when travelling. If you don’t, your device will keep on connecting to every open Wi-Fi as you pass by, exposing your critical assets to cybercriminals who are always alert. You will not even know who, when, or how the crime was conducted, and that is why you need to disable that option to allow your device to connect manually anytime you need internet access.
Antivirus Software Should Be Your Best Friend
Antivirus protection is one of the tools that most people use to protect their online data anywhere, including when travelling. Search for a reliable brand and install it in all the devices that you are travelling with to ensure your safety. Finally, make sure that the software you are using is up to date for maximum protection.
Avoid Location Sharing
It’s normal for people to get excited about their travelling experiences and update their followers on social platforms of their whereabouts. While it’s not always bad, do not overdo it because you are informing potential criminals that you are not at home or in your hotel so that they can mug you. If I travel and I want to share my location with friends and family on social media, I prefer doing it after I’m back, making my posts in the past tense. This is just me, and if you simply cannot wait, try to limit the information you share to avoid endangering yourself and your family.
Are Your Operating Systems Up-To-Date?
It is essential to have your operating systems updated so that they have all the necessary settings to ensure your protection. There is a reason why the manufacturer updates the systems, and so should you. In fact, all the applications in your devices should be updated for optimal security.
De-activate Your Bluetooth Connectivity
Cybercriminals are working every day to find any loophole on unsuspecting victims’ devices. Bluetooth connectivity is one that most people tend to worry less, but beware! This is a vulnerable access point that can be used by hackers to connect to your phone and access personal data. Keep your Bluetooth off as much as you can when you travel abroad.
Create Strong Password
Passwords have always worked well when it comes to cybersecurity, but they will only work if they are strong enough. Learn how to create strong passwords and avoid using your usual passwords when travelling. I stated earlier that you are more exposed to cybercrimes than usual, and if you feel like remembering them it’s too much of an effort, you can actually revert to your common passwords after the trip is over.
Bonus Tip: Watch out for Scammers
When you are travelling as a tourist, you might need help from locals on directions, among other information. Some cunning criminals will try taking advantage of your trust and steal from you. We hope you do not encounter this type of people, but stay vigilant and always remember it’s better not to trust a stranger.
Do not cancel or delay your trip due to fear of cybercrimes. All you need to do before you travel is to stay alert and follow our cyber-security tips. Do not wait until it’s too late! Stay vigilant and enjoy your trip!
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