What are Cybersecurity Tips for Business Travelers?
Whether your business travel plans are domestic or international, it is important to consider cybersecurity threats, as business travelers are likely to be in possession of multiple devices including tablets, laptops, and smartphones that contain sensitive data. The following tips are designed to protect sensitive personal and professional data while you are on the move1:
Pre-departure. Before you go, take steps to secure your devices and personally identifiable information such as name, address, birth date, social security number. Leave unnecessary devices at home, back up electronic files, remove sensitive data, use strong passwords, and update firmware and software. Install and enable anti-virus software. Enable security settings that allow you to lock devices using a PIN number or fingerprint. Consider changing PIN numbers. Check the local laws and cybersecurity threats of the places that you will be traveling to.
While traveling. While you are traveling, be vigilant about your surroundings and use your devices cautiously. Keep devices secure in public places such as airports, restaurants, and hotels. Keep your device screens private by using a privacy screen and be aware of people nearby who can spy on your actions. Minimize location sharing on social networking sites, as this can pose security risks both at home and while traveling, as criminals who know where you are and where you are not can use this information to access your property. Consider using a VPN. Disable Bluetooth connectivity, as nearby cyberattackers can connect to and potentially hack your device. Do not use public equipment such as phones and computers to send sensitive communication. Avoid public charging stations. Disable settings that allow you to auto-connect to Wi-Fi networks and, instead, connect to Wi-Fi manually. Be extra cautious about using public Wi-Fi in public places such as internet cafes, bookstores, coffee shops, clinics, libraries, airports, and hotels. Other tips for public Wi-Fi:
- Do not use the same passwords or PIN numbers that you used at home
- Do not make online purchases
- Do not access bank accounts
- Periodically adjust your device settings to disconnect from the network, then log in again
- Attempt to log in to public Wi-Fi using the wrong password- if you are successful that is an indication that the network is not secure
Upon return. Your devices may have been compromised while you were traveling. When you return, update your anti-virus software, scan all of your devices, and change all of your passwords.
1 FCC, 2022, “Cybersecurity Tips for International Travelers”