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Traveling and Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know

Summer is the perfect time for cybercriminals to take advantage of people who let their guard down. People tend to forget about online security threats while they’re relaxing at a beach. That’s one of the reasons why cybercriminals love targeting tourists who are completely distracted by their surroundings.

To make sure you don’t become a victim of a cybersecurity attack during your next vacation, take into consideration the following tips:

staying safe online abroad

1. Update your devices before you leave

Keeping your mobile devices up to date is of crucial importance, especially when travelling. Each system update carries essential security fixes that can improve the security of your data and device. Even though installing updates might seem like a waste of time to the user, it is important to fix the vulnerabilities in the system before they lead to serious consequences. Make sure you install them as soon as they arrive.

Download a VPN to your mobile phone to help keep it protected.

2. Pack light

If you own multiple mobile devices, there’s no need to bring all of them on your next trip. Make sure to only take the devices absolutely necessary, such as your camera and phone.

If you don’t need tablets or laptops, leave them at home where they’re safe.

The reason why you shouldn’t carry all of them around is that each device is an additional entry point to a hacker. Stolen or lost devices can lead to data breaches or identity theft. So keep in mind that you can’t lose them if you don’t have them.

3. Use multi-factor authentication

Setting up multi-factor authentication is one of the best safety measures you can take before traveling. MFA is an advanced authentication system that requires the user to verify their identity via SMS or email before logging into protected accounts.

In other words, hackers won’t be able to access your account if there is a multi-factor authentication in place.

MFA is very easy to set up. All it takes is to download a security authentication app and connect the accounts you want to secure. Besides multi-factor authentication, make sure to use strong passwords and secure your device with biometrics such as face recognition or a fingerprint scan.

4. Stay away from public WiFi

Public WiFi is your biggest enemy while traveling. It’s common knowledge that hackers are exploiting unprotected networks to get their hands on people’s data and credentials.

Tourists are always looking for free WiFi to access social media and upload photos or contact their friends and family. However, each time you connect a device to an open WiFi network, all data that goes to and from the device is readily available to anyone connected to the network.

In other words, public WiFi connections can cause serious security threats.

It is best to avoid public WiFi completely, but if you cannot stay away from it, make sure to implement the next tip.

5. Use a VPN

The only way users can remain safe while using public networks is if they connect their devices to VPN servers. A VPN or a virtual private network sends all traffic from the user’s device to a remote server through an encrypted tunnel of sorts. This allows users to browse the internet anonymously, whether they are on a secure network or not.

Besides increased security, a VPN has plenty of other benefits to offer travellers. For example, you can use a VPN to access geo-restricted content in some parts of the world. If your favourite TV show isn’t available in the country you’re travelling to, you can virtually change the location of the device by using a VPN. This allows users to keep up with their favourite content no matter where they are.

Travelling and cybersecurity

People tend to let their guard down and relax while traveling. After all, that’s what vacations are for. However, being too relaxed in terms of online security can easily bring your vacation to an end.

It is far too easy to fall in cybercriminals’ traps when traveling, mostly because people are unaware of potential risks online. Now that you have taken a step toward learning more about cybersecurity while traveling make sure to implement the tips we listed above. A few simple safety measures, such as multi-factor authentication or the use of a VPN can make a huge difference in online security.

After all, it is always better to prevent the issue than to deal with the consequences when it’s too late.