A Kaspersky Lab security report reveals that 82% of business people and consumers accessed public Wi-Fi networks while traveling. Public Wi-Fi networks are one of the easiest ways for hackers to steal your sensitive information. Business travelers can protect their data when on the road by taking adequate precautions.
No matter what you do, your devices are always vulnerable. As soon as cybersecurity specialists come up with a solution for a vulnerability, hackers start figuring out how to get around it. However, that doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for them.
The following six tips can help you keep your data safe while traveling for business.
Before you hop on a flight to close your next major deal, update everything – your laptop, cell phone, iPad and any other device that runs an operating system. After that, update all your programs and apps. Updates are essential because technology vendors deploy them to fix security vulnerabilities. If you’re in a rush, at least update your laptop and cell phone.
Some organizations employ many workers who frequently travel with devices used to access and store sensitive data. Often, these enterprises will use mobile device management (MDM) programs to track employee equipment.
MDM programs allow IT specialists to ensure that devices are secure. If a device is stolen or compromised, your IT department can lock or wipe it remotely.
Always use a screen lock and password on your devices. If you lose or misplace a device while traveling, a password-protected screen lock is the only thing safeguarding your sensitive company data. What’s more, if you use external storage devices such as USB drives, you can password protect them with third-party programs such as BitLocker or an open-source option such as VeraCrypt.
While you’re on the road, disable your Bluetooth. More than likely, you only use it to pair your smartphone with your car. Other than that, it a welcoming backdoor for hackers. Also, invest in privacy screens to keep prying eyes from accessing your company information while you work on the road.
It would be best if you never used public Wi-Fi. When you travel, however, there are times when there is no alternative. VPN services encrypt your data as it travels over public Wi-Fi connections. Make sure to use a paid solution, however, as free VPNs are known for selling an indeterminate amount of your information to third parties.
Once you return home, it’s a good idea to give all your devices a quick check. Update any antivirus and malware programs on all your devices. Also, make sure that your IT department verifies that your devices are still in compliance.
You should also check your bank account activity for unusual transactions. If you want to be extra safe, change all your passwords as well.Business people should take these precautions every day, but the world’s a busy place. Also, people are often lulled into a false sense of security unless they’ve experienced what it’s like to lose control of their data. Nevertheless, it’s easier to stop something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened.