10 Tips to Protect Your Data While Traveling
John Reinhardt, Chief Technology Officer
July 15, 2022
With summer and vacations well underway, here are ten important cybersecurity tips to help you keep your information safe while you travel.
Before You Travel
Note: Anytime you will be traveling overseas, please notify your branch manager or home office so they can monitor for potential malicious activities and avoid unnecessary interruptions.
- Update, back up and lock your devices.
Updating devices will fix security flaws and help keep you protected. Back up your devices in case they get compromised while you’re out of town. Also, set your devices to lock after a period of time and use strong PINs and passwords.
- Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).
Add an extra layer of protection so that the only person who has access to your account is you. For more information on MFA, visit https://www.cisa.gov/mfa.
- Guard your devices.
Always keep your devices close at hand and secure in taxis, security checkpoints, airplanes, rental homes and hotel rooms.
- Recharge securely.
Never plug your phone into a public USB charging station, such as those in the airport or in a hotel room lamp or clock radio because it could give malicious individuals the opportunity to hijack your session or install malware on your device.
- Delete data from your rental car.
If you connect your phone to a rental car for navigation or other purposes, be sure to remove the device from the vehicle’s settings so that others don’t have access to your address book, device name, text messages or other sensitive information.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi and public computers.
While public networks are convenient, they are a security risk. Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi unless absolutely necessary. If you have to use public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet traffic and prevent others from stealing your data. Avoid using public computers in hotel business centers and internet cafes which are often poorly managed and provide minimal protection.
- Turn off auto-connect.
While auto-connect is enabled, devices will seek out and connect to available networks or Bluetooth devices. This could allow cyber criminals to access your device without you knowing it. Disable auto-connect, Bluetooth connectivity and near field communication (NFC), like airdrop, so that you can select the network and control the connection.
- Limit what you share.
Limit the information you share on social media while on vacation and consider posting updates about your trip after you return. Revealing too much information (like when you will be away from home) can put you and others at risk. Scammers may even attempt to contact your family and friends with a variety of scam tactics.
When You Return Home
- Shred your boarding pass and luggage tag.
Scannable codes on boarding passes and luggage tags include full name, date of birth and passenger name record. These can also contain sensitive data from your airline record, like passport number, phone number, email address and other information.
- Scan for viruses and malware.
We recommend updating your security software when you return home and scan for viruses and malware to be sure your device wasn’t compromised while you were away.
- FFC | Cybersecurity Tips for International Travelers
- CISA | Cybersecurity While Traveling Tip Card (PDF)
- National Cybersecurity Alliance | Cyber Trip Advisor: Vacation Travel Security Tips (PDF)
As always, it’s critical that you report any incidents to your supervisor containing all available information as soon as possible.
By implementing these tips, you’ll be able to travel with peace of mind, knowing you’ve taken proactive steps to minimize the risk of potential cybersecurity threats.
Enjoy your summer!