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Mar 10, 2018

People who travel frequently assume that they know how to keep themselves safe when it comes to keeping their valuables safe. However, there are certain security risks that often go unnoticed, especially when it comes to data security.

There is an increased risk of your devices or laptops getting hacked when traveling abroad. Being a foreigner at an unfamiliar location increases your chances of becoming a victim of such things. Here are some tips that you can use to keep your data protected, no matter where you travel.

Do Not Use Public Internet Connections

If you want to keep your data secure when traveling abroad, the best way to do so is to refrain from using public WIFI or Bluetooth connections, as these are the most common methods for hackers to access your data. Though you may find it tempting to charge your mobile devices on USB stations, plugging into a regular electrical outlet is always a better and much safer option. Moreover, make sure that the WIFI and Bluetooth settings of your mobile devices and laptops are turned off, in order to make sure that they do not automatically connect to the public networks. 

Even if it is absolutely necessary to use a public WIFI connection, make sure not to access your emails or conduct any transactions through online banking in order to keep your data secure. If you need to make a transaction, make sure to use your own WIFI hotspot. Set up a VPN account or browse using the incognito mode for added security - this enables you to keep your IP address and data hidden.

Remove All Personal Data from your Mobile

Public connections or WIFI networks are not the only way hackers can gain access to your data. A hacker does not have to virtually connect to your device to gain access to your data if they can easily do it the old-fashioned way. If you want to keep your personal data secure, make sure that you don't have any sensitive materials stored on your mobile devices or laptops and keep your hard drive that contains all your private data at home. It is a good idea to regularly update passwords to anything important like online banking, email, cloud storage, and even sites like Facebook which hold a lot of personal information. Using an app like LastPass can help you generate strong passwords and will store securely them for you. Just make sure the settings are set so that it does not automatically start up when your device is turned on and that it needs a secure password to be accessed each time.

Make Extra Copies of Your Personal Documents

Before going on your trip, don't forget to make extra copies of your personal documents such as IDs and passports and leave them at home in case your documents get stolen whilst traveling. Also, store an extra copy of your personal documents online where you can easily access them when required. You can store your documents on cloud storage, using services like Drop Box and Google Drive, which are free to use and offer encryption as well.

Stay Away from ATMs in Unfamiliar Locations

Do not use ATMS in unfamiliar locations while traveling, as express kidnappings at ATMs is quite common in several countries. If you have to use an ATM, go to a secure location such as the bank or your hotel. Virtual kidnapping has also become quite common, where the kidnapper calls up an individual to gain access to their personal information and then calls their family members to convince them that they have been kidnapped whilst demanding a ridiculous amount of money as ransom. Do not give your personal information to anyone, especially on the phone, and remain cautious wherever you go. If you get a call to your hotel room from someone claiming to work for the hotel asking to verify information, do not say anything - don't even tell them your name if they ask for it. Instead, hang up and call the front desk yourself to verify the person calling you was in fact someone from the hotel and not someone trying to scam you or your family.

It might seem like there is a lot to worry about, but taking these simple precautions goes a long way in keeping you and your information safe.

Related Blog Posts:

Scams to Watch Out for While Traveling Abroad

Preparing for Unexpected Emergencies While Traveling

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