Traveling this summer? Whether it is for business or pleasure, traveling makes you a prime target for cybercriminals.
In fact, IBM Security reported that “the transportation industry has become a priority target for cybercriminals as the second-most attacked industry—up from tenth in 2017.” Plus, a new survey revealed that 70 percent of travelers are engaging in high-risk behaviors while on the road. These risky behaviors include connecting to public WiFi, using a public USB station to charge a device, or enabling auto-connect on your devices.
While our mobile devices provide convenience while traveling, they also expose travelers to cyber threats. So, it is up to travelers to be aware and protect themselves from cybercrime. As you travel this summer, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind:
- Update your mobile software. Keep your operating system software and apps updated to improve your device’s ability to defend against malware.
- Back up your information. Back up your contacts, photos, videos and other data with another device or cloud service before traveling.
- Think before you click. Use caution when downloading or clicking on any unknown links, delete emails that are suspicious or are from unknown sources and review the details of an application before installing.
- Pack a backup battery: Cybercriminals can hijack public USB connections to download data from your phone or install malware without your knowledge. Bring your own battery bank to recharge your phone when you’re low or use traditional wall plugs instead of USB ports.
- Protect your mobile device. Because our mobile devices store so much personal information, it’s vital to keep them secured while traveling to prevent theft and unauthorized access or loss of sensitive information.
- Share your location. Many apps and devices use geotagging and location sharing to broadcast your location publicly. Make sure that these settings are off to prevent criminals from knowing where you are.
- Trust public Wi-Fi. Many public places, resorts and hotels offer free Wi-Fi networks. These are usually not very secure and can allow cyber criminals access to your Internet-enabled devices. When connecting to free Wi-Fi, avoid doing any online banking or shopping while on a public network.
- Leave your device unlocked. Locking your device with a strong PIN, password, or fingerprint ID will help keep your data safe.
- Post your location on social media. Checking in to places that you are visiting, posting updates mentioning your location or sharing photos from your journey compromise your privacy. Be careful about what you share and double check your privacy settings on social media sites to make sure strangers can’t see your posts.
Ultimately, the more we travel, the more cyber risks we face, but you can minimize the risk by following these guidelines.