The summer time is the busiest time of year for travelling and whether you are going to an exotic location abroad, taking a work trip or driving to your destination in the US, it is important to take good cyber safety precautions not just on the trip, but starting from booking. Keeping track of your digital behaviors could be one of the best prevention methods for cyber attacks while on the go. While people are at home or work they are connected to a secure network but that can change when they are away. Technically speaking when they are away people are more likely to connect to a network that they shouldn’t. Below are some helpful tips that you can use to protect your digital security and privacy while traveling.
The Adventure Starts with Booking
When planning your trip, and comparing all the final details, make sure the websites you are using to book are legitimate and secure. It can be very easy for a scammer to spoof a URL or make a travel sight seem real but really it is a ploy to grab your information. Always double check the URL and make sure the site is verified to be HTTPS. A good rule to follow is to always make sure the top bar in left corner has a secure indicator (see below) before making any online transactions with that site. Be aware of your email inbox as well, If you get an email that looks like its from a major airline and offering a too good to be true deal, do not click on the link.
Get Ready to Go
One of the best pieces of advice is to make sure all of your devices are up to date. Updates ensure that all your devices have the latest security patches and reduce their vulnerability to attacks. Be sure that you have a password set up to get into your devices in case of them being lost or stolen. Apps are also important to keep updated, especially those that hold precious information like banking apps. “Running the most recent versions of your mobile operating system, security software, apps and web browsers is among the best defense against malware, viruses and other online threats” says the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team
Have a Great Time!
While traveling, worries such as flight delays, traffic or a variety of other nuisances could completely take your mind off cyber security, and that is understandable. If you covered everything discussed up to now, then you should be very well protected and ready. However, there are a few other items to take note of.
Free WIFI may be too good to be true: Never use a WiFi that isn’t secured with a password. It could possibly be a fake hotspot set up by cyber criminals. Be cautious with Free Airport WiFi because even the legitimate one can be insecure.
Take Advantage of New Payment Methods: The last thing you want to happen is your credit card to be declined while you are on vacation. One good way to minimize the chances of your credit card information being stolen is to use payment apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. These services do not directly transmit your credit card number, instead they provide the vendor with a randomly generated code in its place. That information is useless to anyone trying to intercept it. this can give you peace of mind when making transactions in unfamiliar locations.
To all that are traveling this summer, it is important to stay safe, and while cyber security isn’t the first on your list when your sipping a margarita on the beach, you will be happy you prepared.