Before You Go:
Update your mobile software. Treat your mobile device like your home or work computer. Keep your operating system software and apps updated, which will improve your device’s ability to defend against malware.
Back up your information. Back up your contacts, photos, videos, and other mobile device data with another device or cloud service.
Keep it locked. Get into the habit of locking your device when you are not using it. Even if you only step away for a few minutes, that is enough time for someone to steal or destroy your information. Use strong PINs and passwords.
While You Are There
Stop auto-connecting. Disable remote connectivity and Bluetooth. Some devices will automatically seek and connect to available wireless networks. And Bluetooth enables your device to connect wirelessly with other devices, such as headphones or automobile infotainment systems. Disable these features so that you only connect to wireless and Bluetooth networks when you want to.
Think before you connect. Before you connect to any public wireless hotspot – like on an airplane or in an airport, hotel, train/bus station, or café – be sure to confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate. Do not conduct sensitive activities, such as online shopping, banking, or sensitive work, using a public wireless network. Only use sites that begin with https:// when online shopping or banking. Using your mobile network connection is generally more secure than using a public wireless network.
Think before you click. Use caution when downloading or clicking on any unknown links. Delete emails that are suspicious or are from unknown sources. Review and understand the details of an application before installing.
Guard your mobile device. To prevent theft and unauthorized access or loss of sensitive information, never leave your mobile devices–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.
Unsecured wireless networks. While public wireless networks provide great convenience, allowing people to connect to the Internet from almost anywhere, they are insecure and can allow cyber criminals access to your Internet-enabled devices. Beyond the typical public wireless networks found at airports, restaurants, hotels, and cafes, they are increasingly available in other places, such as on airplanes and in public parks.
Publicly accessible computers. Hotel business centers, libraries, and cyber cafes provide computers that anyone can use. However, travelers cannot trust that these computers are secure. They may not be running the latest operating systems or have updated antivirus software. Cyber criminals may have infected these machines with malicious viruses or install malicious software.
Physical theft of devices. Thieves often target travelers. Meal times are optimum times for thieves to check hotel rooms for unattended laptops. If you are attending a conference or trade show, be especially wary — these venues offer thieves a wider selection of devices that are likely to contain sensitive information, and the conference sessions offer more opportunities for thieves to access guest rooms
1. Create A Backup: Backing up your devices' data to another physical device or the cloud before traveling will keep your data safe in case of a data breach or any unfortunate event where you lose your data or devices on the go.
2. Software Updates: Operating systems in your devices all have built-in security systems that get regular updates from the manufacturer. Keeping your apps and operating system updated will give you better security while you travel. Make sure your devices have the latest security patch installed before leaving home for improved cybersecurity.
3. Auto And Remote Connectivity: Auto connectivity is an extremely useful feature around the house or workplace, which is why most of our devices have this feature turned on. While traveling, your wireless network and Bluetooth can automatically connect to available networks and devices on the go. This can create problems if you connect to a network or device that is malicious. Turning off your devices' auto and remote connect features while traveling will allow you to only connect when you want to connect.
4. Physical Security: Keeping your devices physically secure while in hotel rooms, airports, planes or any other mode of transport will help prevent unauthorized access, physical theft, and consequent data breaches. A good practice is to never leave your devices unattended in a public space or on any means of transport.
5. Locks And Passwords: Using a strong password or PIN is always useful but keeping your device locked at all times is even more important, especially while traveling. If you leave your device unlocked for even a minute or two, it can potentially give hackers enough time to breach your device.
6. Location Sharing: Immediately updating social media networks with pictures and locations is very common among travelers on vacation. This can sometimes be problematic if a cybercriminal has access to your social media pages. They can track your location and use that information to break into your hotel rooms or even your home and steal valuables while you are away. Always be cautious with what you share on social media, especially when it comes to letting people know where you are, or even where you’re not.
7. Public Wireless Networks: Connecting to public hot spots or wireless networks that are available in hotels, planes, cafes and transportation can be risky, which is why you must always confirm with the staff the exact procedures and networks to connect. Often, hackers use these public networks to gather sensitive data. If you are connected to a public network, make sure to only use "https" sites and avoid online shopping or accessing any sensitive data to avoid a security breach. If possible, always use your own data network connection or make sure to have a VPN.
8. Public Computers: More and more public places are allowing access through public computers. Libraries, internet cafes, hotels, and even some restaurants have publicly available computers for you to use and access the internet.
9. Skimmer Devices: A skimmer device is used by criminals to copy your credit card information without ever touching or using your credit card. Criminals need only hover a skimmer device over your credit card for a few seconds to copy its data and use it for personal gains. They can even do this by hovering the device over your wallet or pocket that contains your card. An easy way to avoid this from happening is to use an RFID wallet or cardholder that prevents data theft by creating a digital wall between your card and the skimmer device.
Conclusion: The threat of cybercrime is very real, and the probability of that threat increases when we are vulnerable. That is why a good cybersecurity mindset while traveling is a must. Whether you are traveling for work or vacation, be sure to practice these tips and proceed with caution.