Repost: Cybersecurity While Traveling

Originally Posted on July 12, 2016. By Ashley Agnew:

Many times when thinking about secure traveling, we are most worried about things such as luggage theft, hotel security, and losses due to language barriers or exchange rates. We tend to ignore cybersecurity threats, despite the fact that theft of identity or information can cause a greater disruption than the loss of a wallet or watch.

Most of us associate cybersecurity with the home, office, or classroom, yet safe cyber practices should be used when travelling as well, especially since internet-enabled devices are so widely used.  The Department of Homeland Security has issued a great fact card with tips to avoid cyber theft.  We recommend that you read the fact card in it’s entirety prior to your departure. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Before you go:
    • Update your mobile software to improve defense against malware
    • Back up your information with another device or cloud service
    • Keep your device locked, even if you step away for just a few minutes
  • While you are there:
    • Disable auto-connecting and Bluetooth so that your device does not seek a wireless network
    • Think before you connect, and do not conduct sensitive activities or communicate private information on public networks
    • Think before you click, and use caution when downloading unknown links
    • Guard your mobile devices, including USB and external storage devices, and never leave them unattended. If it is necessary to leave them in your hotel, be sure they are locked
  • Three common threats while traveling
    • Unsecured wireless networks
    • Publicly accessible computers
    • Physical theft of devices

Visit for more information.  A best practice that is often overlooked, and is also absent from the government fact card, is to set up dual-layer authentication on your most important accounts.  These include e-mail, Dropbox, and Facebook accounts among many others as more and more sites are accepting two-factor authentication. Clients that suspect they have fallen victim to identity theft should contact our office immediately.