UK – USA Business Travel
- Richard Moss
How to protect your data (and yourself) on a business trip
When travelling for business, keep in mind that your electronic devices and the data you store and transmit on them is just as valuable or even more valuable as the contents of your suitcase.
Here are 5 easy ways to protect yourself and your data on the road:
Protect your data by backing it up to the cloud or utilising Google Drive/Dropbox before you hit the road. Removing any stress and worry if your device is lost or stolen in transit. Better yet, bring only the devices you absolutely need with you. You can secure them with a new, strong set of passwords to protect yourself even further.
This means not only avoiding public Wi-Fi hotspots and unsecured free hotel Wi-Fi (bring a corporate virtual private network if you can), it also means remembering to turn your Bluetooth off, minimising your location sharing, and disabling auto-connect for Wi-Fi networks you may pass through in your travels. All of these steps will help minimise hackers from tapping in to your information through the network.
The Global Visual Hacking Experiment (2016 – Ponemon Institute) proved that 91% of visual hackers are successful in 15 minutes or less. So exposing your device’s screen or even your keystrokes to others puts you at a huge risk in your travels. You can get a privacy screen for most smartphones these days almost anywhere. Be sure to enable your screensaver and automatic logouts after periods of inactivity as well.
Maintaining physical connection to your devices (even your external storage devices!) is your best bet against stolen data. Secure your items in a locked safe when it is not possible to take them with you, never leave them out in your hotel room or meeting space. Do not allow others to borrow your devices, even just to charge their phone with your USB port.
Do not use public computer kiosks, phones, printers, or any other digital equipment when handling sensitive information or confidential data. Even if you clear the cache and log out immediately, your data will be compromised and is susceptible to hackers. The race to zero-ing out your inbox can most likely wait and isn’t worth the risk.
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