When travelling, especially for business-related reasons, security should always be your top priority. This is true in terms of personal security as well as the security of classified data that are crucial to your business or company. Whether you are in a computer cafe, or using your own devices, it’s true that you do not even have to be physically plugged into something anymore to be vulnerable to data theft. Let’s talk about ‘How to Keep Data Safe when Travelling’.
Data theft is prevalent nowadays and smart phones, laptops, and other modern electronic devices are highly at risk of it. Data hacking is perhaps the most common type of data theft. A hacker, a person who breaks in someone else’s computer or device, typically modifies, destroys, or eventually steals data. A hacker does this illegal act for his own personal gain or for the benefit of a certain business or company.
Watch this 2-minute video proving how a computer can be hacked in less than a minute.
When travelling, remember that ‘thieves’ can steal data from your device at the airport, in an airplane, in the hotel, and other Wi-Fi hotspots such as coffee shops and restaurants. You might think that you are only sending an urgent financial report from your hotel room overseas, but unconsciously, you are already spreading the company’s confidential records to mischievous hackers.
To protect yourself, secure your business, and avoid potential data theft, here are what you need to do when travelling:
#2 If it is a must to bring your laptop with you on a trip, then make sure it is wiped clean. Furthermore, it must only have the important applications you will need.
Wiping a laptop means erasing/removing data on the hard drive. However, doing so would mean losing everything – from pictures, music and video files, to documents. Hence, make sure you have copied ‘everything’ to an external hard drive before going on a trip to avoid problems when you’re back home.
#3 Never allow foreign electronic storage devices to be connected to your smart phone and/or laptop.
These devices may contain malware. Malware, short for malicious malware, is used to gain access to a private device, collect sensitive data, and potentially disrupt certain operations.
#4 Flash drives used for a presentation should be cleaned right after the presentation.
Flash drives could pick up malware when shared on another device. To prevent such malware from spreading into your own device, make sure you have deleted all files it contains after using.
You are on a business trip; how could you not send updates to your boss? Otherwise, if you are the boss, how could you not supervise and send instructions to your workers? If there is really a need to send confidential emails, then make sure you are in a company office with a secured network.
Some businessmen also recommend setting up a new email account prior to travelling. In addition, it is wise to change your password before you leave for the trip and change it again when you are already home.