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10 Tech Holiday Travel Tips to Keep You and Your Data Safe

By Katie Sloane | Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Traveling with electronic devices puts personal and critical business information at risk. As we embark on the busy holiday travel season, we decided to share some useful tips to help prevent your data and devices from falling into the wrong hands. Here are our top 10:

  1. Back up Your Data Before You Leave: Prior to traveling, back up data that is stored on your device(s) onto media that will not be taken with you on your travels. For example, on a storage card, cloud, or computer, if you are not bringing the latter device on your trip. Furthermore, ensure you do not have social security numbers, passwords, credit card information and other sensitive data stored on your devices. If you do, save this information in a more secure place and remove it from your portable devices.

  2. Travel Light: If you do not need it, do not bring it on your trip. Only devices that are necessary should accompany you while traveling. 

  3. Encrypt All Information: We strongly recommend all portable devices be encrypted. When utilizing public networks, the threat of other users from within or outside your network capturing your login credentials and emails increases drastically. Encrypting your data makes it unreadable and unusable to those lacking the necessary tools to unlock it.

  4. Protect Devices with Anti-Virus Software: We suggest installing anti-virus software and updating it regularly on your personal computers so that your data is safe no matter where you are.

  5. Lock Your Devices: Lock your computer and mobile device when you are not using them. We recommend doing so to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer’s hard disk and critical business data.

  6. Password Protect Your Device(s): Portable devices are extremely popular targets for criminals because they are small and easy to sell. To help mitigate the risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands, all devices should be password protected. This applies to laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc. We recommend using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Additionally, avoid obvious passwords, such as birthdays, anniversaries and pet names. Smartphones should have passcode locks, and if applicable, Touch IDs in place. For iPhones, this can be configured in Settings > General. In the same location, you can also set your device to erase all data after 10 failed passcode attempts. From a business perspective, any device that accesses corporate email or networks should have a complex password and be managed by mobile device management tools.

  7. Remove Saved Passwords on Your Device(s): Although login credentials that are saved for websites may be convenient, it can also leave your personal and confidential business data at risk. We recommend removing this feature from all websites.

  8. Do Not Leave Your Devices Unattended in a Public Place: Leaving your device in plain view increases the risk of your property being stolen. You should always keep your devices in a secure bag, zipped pocket or within close proximity to your body. If your device is stolen or lost, you should report this immediately to help protect sensitive and confidential information. Additionally, corporate devices should have the ability to be remotely wiped to safeguard confidential data or networks from unwarranted access.

  9. Connect to Encrypted Networks: When connecting to networks, ensure they are encrypted and only visit websites with the prefix “https”. You can also contact your service provider to purchase a global data package while traveling internationally.  For the highest level of security, utilize virtual private networks (VPNs).

  10. Find My iPhone/iPad/Mac: In the event that your device is lost or stolen, enable Find My iPhone/iPad/Mac to locate your device.

Additional Articles:

  1. Apple to iPhone Users: Here's How to Protect Your Devices

  2. A Hacker's Tool Kit: Cyber Security Threats to Financial Firm

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