Business travel is making a comeback. After being cooped up during the pandemic and restricted to virtual meetings, business leaders are now looking forward to having face-to-face interactions again.
That said, whether you're a regular business traveler or freelancer who loves to explore places while working, business travels can pose unique cybersecurity threats. There's an increased risk posed to traveling entrepreneurs since they often carry sensitive data on various mobile devices such as laptops and smartphones.
As such, it's essential to take extra precautions to keep sensitive business data safe. In this post, we're sharing seven cybersecurity tips for busy business travelers.
Be Mindful About Physical Security
First, you must keep your mobile devices physically secure while in airports, hotel rooms, and public transportation. Being mindful of your belongings can help prevent theft, unauthorized access, and data breaches.
So, never leave your devices and all personal belongings unattended in a public space or transport.
Get An RFID-Blocking Wallet
In line with the previous tip, getting an RFID-blocking wallet helps protect your cards against skimmer devices.
A skimmer device uses RFID technology to copy bank card information without using or touching the card. It only takes a few seconds for someone to hover the device over your card—even if it's inside your wallet—and copy its data. So, even though you still have the physical card, it's already compromised, and critical business data is already stolen.
You can create a wall between your cards and a skimmer device with an RFID-blocking card holder or wallet.
Lock Your Devices
Locking your device using a PIN, fingerprint, password, or pattern helps protect your privacy and keeps critical business information secure. Keeping your mobile devices locked when not in use is even more crucial. If you misplace your device or if it is stolen, a security lock is your first line of defense. An unlocked device, even for a minute or two, can give malicious criminals plenty of time to breach it.
Take Passwords More Seriously
Speaking of passwords, experts recommend that you use this type of security lock along with biometric security. Compared to PINs or patterns, passwords are more challenging to crack as long as you take them more seriously.
Make sure that you use strong and hard-to-guess passwords. The best passwords use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. They should be at least 14–16 characters long. Also, it's essential to regularly change your passwords while traveling to keep your devices and critical data secure and uncompromised.
Be Wary About Public Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi access can be appealing to business travelers. However, any unsecure Wi-Fi network you connect to is one of the easiest ways to expose critical business data to a hacker.
As such, you’d want to avoid the lure of coffee shops, airports, and hotel rooms. Be extra cautious when using internet cafés for business communications. If you must use them, consider using a virtual private network (VPN), which helps encrypt internet traffic and keep your data safe and secure.
Aside from using a VPN, you should also disable your device's auto-connect feature. Even if you don't intend to use public Wi-Fi, the auto-connect feature may allow your device to connect automatically to an unsecure Wi-Fi network as you pass through it. This can open your device to hacking attempts. So, before traveling, change this setting on your laptop or phone.
Installing reliable antivirus software on your devices is one of the most effective and easiest ways to keep your personal and business information safe while traveling.
The best antivirus software can help monitor your device's security and protect you against viruses and malware that can steal and compromise business data and crash your device.
While you can find free antivirus software, getting a paid antivirus app is best for comprehensive protection. Also, keep your antivirus software updated to ensure that it can protect you against the latest security issues.
Back Up Data
Breaches can still occur regardless of how much you protect your business devices. You can lose or damage your device, or a slight distraction can welcome hackers into your system.
Trying to restore data when traveling can be complicated. So, a day before your flight or travel, consider backing up your devices' data to keep information safe and secure. Having all the necessary information and data in the cloud allows faster recovery if a problem occurs.
As the pandemic slowly becomes a thing of the past, travel levels are expected to be higher. However, with more business people traveling, criminals are also looking to capitalize on this trend.
Don't be a cybersecurity victim and compromise your business. Follow the above cybersecurity tips to ensure critical business data won't travel to unwanted destinations.
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