After Thanksgiving weekend, travelers don’t stop. These next few weeks will be some of the busiest travel days of the entire year. Whether you are going to visit family, or just looking to get away, your privacy and data are at major risk when you travel. It is essential that you understand and practice certain security tips before going away.
There are cases of people leaving the United States for a few days or weeks, and coming back home with their email inbox full of spam from the countries they recently visited, or purchases on their credit cards they never made. Keep your eyes open as to where you leave your mobile phone, laptop, or any other tech devices, when you are globetrotting.
Before you go on your trip, know your rights. Did you know that your normal privacy rights, not to mention your constitutionally protected rights as a citizen of the USA, mean nothing when you cross a border? Sadly, it’s true. So what can you do to protect your data at customs? Encrypt your data twofold by using a full disk encryption in case someone turns on your computer, and then use a second encryption product to encrypt your most critical data.
Make sure you chose the absolute most secure network option. Only connect to official Wi-Fi offerings. Never select “free Wi-Fi” and Bluetooth connections. Hackers will see the cyber-bullseye on your back. If this sounds easy, it’s because it is. Just like an “old school” move of having a good privacy display on your laptop screen. You never know who is peeking over your shoulder. And of course, it goes without saying to lock your device anytime you aren’t using it. Especially in your hotel room when you are in the shower, or out for the day.
This final tip is a lot harder than it seems. Don’t broadcast your current location. In a world of social media, where all your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know what you are eating and drinking and where you are doing it, not being an over-sharer can save you from a data breach. It doesn’t matter where you travel. Going around the world in 80 days or to another state 80 minutes away, you have to take special care of your data and devices. If you don’t take the necessary precautions, lost luggage will be the least of your worries.