Six (Easy) Cyber Security Tips for Travelers

Summer has nearly arrived, which means more families and business travelers will be hitting the roads and the skies over the next few months. So while you consider cyber security tips for travelers, and before your surround sound culminates with hours of “Are we there yet?” and endless games of “I Spy”, odds are you will also be surrounded by phubbing.

What’s phubbing, you ask? According to Wikipedia, the term was coined in 2012 as part of a campaign by Macquarie Dictionary to describe the habit of snubbing someone in favor of a mobile phone. But before your family begins to phub your travel games and scenic views in favor of their favorite electronic pastime, make sure you, your friends and family are prepped and ready to travel. And no, this doesn’t simply mean making sure the car’s oil has been changed or everyone’s passports are current.

Take a few minutes to read our top six cyber security tips for travelers. It’s easier than you think to be a cyber secure traveler today. Happy travels!

  1. Lock Your Device
    Whether using fingerprint recognition or a PIN code, most electronic devices allow its user to lock a device from its Settings. Make sure this is activated on ALL devices. In the event a device is stolen or left behind, this is your first line of defense in protecting your privacy and information.
  2. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
    We all want to maximize data plans but connecting to mobile hot spots or public wi-fi when available could open your devices up to a security breach. The same holds true for free hotel Wi-Fi and any unencrypted network. If you do decide to access public Wi-Fi, make sure to avoid accessing any secure sites that requests your personal or sensitive data (e.g., logging into bank or email accounts)
  3. Disable Auto Connections
    Check device settings to ensure it’s not automatically connecting to public Wi-Fi. This includes your Bluetooth settings. Your phone may be signaling nearby assailants that your phone is open for business. Don’t make it easy for your phone to be hacked. Keep your connections closed.
  4. Keep Your Location Secure
    Whether a business or leisure traveler, it’s fun to share with family and friends about your experiences abroad on social media. However, announcing that you are out-of-town can also announce that your home is empty to criminals, or signal to assailants when you’ve left the hotel room and left valuables behind. Wait to share photos of your travels for when you return from a trip and keep your location sharing signals off.
  5. Software Should be Up to Date
    To ensure your device’s software is as secure as possible, make sure all software has been updated before leaving for a trip. The same goes for when you return. Your mobile phone and electronic devices could have been compromised with malware when abroad. Update your passwords and run a software update again upon returning.
  6. Secure Your Credit Cards with RFIDs
    Your credit cards may not count as an electronic device but carrying them around without the proper security “shield” can expose you to identify theft. Invest in Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) to protect your sensitive data. These protective shields are available in a variety of forms, from passport covers and wallets to purses and other bags.