Data security might sound daunting, but it is one thing every traveler should be familiar with. No subject is as worrying as data security when it comes to traveling. While you plan your trip, file encryption and backup strategies might not be on your planning list.
Well, that is a bit of an issue.
If you are carrying a laptop, smartphone, or tablet with you as you travel around the world, you have to protect the data that really matters. You don’t really have to spend a lot of money or put in huge effort to keep yourself safe. However, if you aren’t careful and secure data, you will be at the risk of losing your photos, getting accounts hacked, or your identity is stolen.
So, if you are traveling and want to secure your data, here are a few things you can do.
How to safeguard your data while traveling
1. Avoid Using Public Computers
Internet cafes were pretty much a thing in the 90s. However, now, most of these cafes have been shut down. In terms of security, this is a good thing. This is because these places have been responsible for stealing your data. The reasons are,
- The café’s computers have all types of unknown software installed by customers and staff.
- Virus and security updates do not get done.
- It is easy to install key-logging software that will store anything your type. Copy the username and password to send to other users.
So, stop using public computers for any purpose except for random browsing. Avoid using it to log into your social media, bank account, or email. In case you absolutely have to use a public computer, follow these tips to make it a little safer.
- Avoid doing anything that involves money.
- Make sure you use two-step authentication for online services.
- Use Private or Incognito Browsing mode. This keeps your details safe.
2. Be Careful of Using Public Wi-Fi
Airports, cafes, hostels, and even public spaces often provide free or cheap Wi-Fi. At times, it is difficult to understand where the signal is coming from. However, once you see it, you try it. This is where the problems begin.
By default, almost all your information is visible to anyone who has the appropriate tools to move data across a wireless network. Networks requiring a password are almost the same.
You need to assume that people will be able to connect to the network you are using. So, if you are using public Wi-Fi, any data on your device that isn’t protected is at risk.
To keep your data protected, you can use VPN free trial when you are traveling abroad. VPN will let you connect to a server in a different location in the world and will encrypt all information that passes between you and the VPN. Look for services that you can use on your both mobile and laptop at the same time.
3. Create a Data Backup
Backing up your data as you travel can be quite boring. Surely, you have something more interesting to do until you lose thousands of photos you have taken on the trip or the email address of the people you have met. Hard drives can break or laptops can be stolen. Bad things keep happening and you should be prepared for them.
So, copy new files to different devices and also somewhere online. There are various approaches you can take based on the gears you are traveling with and what you have to backup.
4. Protect Your Data
At times bad things might happen, no matter what you do or how careful you are. Phones, tablets, and laptops are attractive targets for all the thieves out there. Sure, you might not be able to keep someone from stealing your things but you can take precautions to keep them from accessing your data.
So, here are a few things you can do to protect your data.
- Use a password or a pin code. It is just going to take a few seconds to apply a new password. This is a good way to deter casual thieves. Make sure that you use a password that is not really guessable.
- The passwords and PIN numbers are good to keep for keeping eyes off the personal information. With the help of encryption, you can do the same thing for all determined snoops. So, if someone pulls out your hard drive or is successful in bypassing your PIN, your data will stay protected. If you don’t have the right password, your information will only be a group of random characters.
- You will find many software solutions that provide various features that help you to track down your stolen gear. These solutions can report their location, sound alarms, take videos and photos, and display messages on screen. It helps in reuniting many people with their technology. However, make sure that you set it up correctly.
Almost everything that you should do to protect your data has been covered. However, there are a few basic tips that will help in keeping your data safe on the road.
- You can keep the antivirus software for keeping the bad guys out. You will find several of them in the market.
- Update the device’s software from time to time. In simple words, do not ignore the prompts to update security patches or download new software versions. The operators provide them for a reason. When you have a decent internet connection, let it run.
- Instead of using the same password for everything, use a password manager for creating a super-strong and unique password for all types of services and websites you use. There are several password managers you will find over the internet.
Keeping data secure and protected while traveling doesn’t have to be difficult. Spend some money and time to set up everything before leaving. Doing all these is better than having your important data stolen or your bank account being hacked.
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