With technology and online activities becoming such an integral part of our lives, it’s inevitable that you’ll want to use your favourite services when abroad, such as Facebook, Gmail and perhaps access your iCloud. For those travelling for business, you may even find online banking to be an essential part of your trip – however, you must always be wary of your internet safety, in an age of hacking scandals and identity fraud at every turn. Some of these tips deal with security of your account and others still seek to stop your computer being infected with malware – they’re all useful tips to make you feel more confident when travelling abroad whilst ensuring that your Internet security is on top form.
Update everything before you leave
It might sound like common sense, but many people forget to update their gadgets and computers with the latest security software before their departure. The majority of users are using an out-dated version of their operating system and their security programmes are far behind in catching the latest viruses. Hackers will happily send viruses through the web knowing that many users haven’t updated their system, so make sure everything is up to date before you leave for the airport.
Many services such as Facebook, Google and Skype recommend you change your password regularly even when not travelling, so making the change before you set off can make it easier to keep these accounts secure. Try not to save passwords on your device as it makes it easier for hackers and thieves to gain access to your accounts and your information.
Back up, storage and locks
Sometimes the best advice can be the physical security of your devices and information. Create a backup of your device before you leave and always leave valuables locked away and secure when away from your accommodation. Make sure that the most essential information on your device is backed up to a physical drive – this means that should your device become compromised, the information and valuable items is stored elsewhere and is therefore safe.
Avoid using public PCs
It can be a temptation to use an internet café or a public terminal to do the most essential work online, but remember that these devices are used by perhaps thousands of people doing both legal and illegal activities. As a result, these computers may be infested with spyware – programmes and software that monitor a user’s actions whilst online and usually do not have virus protection. If you use a public terminal for your online activities, your details may very well be stolen and your security compromised.
Using hotel WiFi and the power of VPNs
Many hotels and accommodation centres now offer free or premium WiFi to their clients when travelling, and whilst it’s great to be able to access everything from the comfort of your room, it’s still a fairly public connection. If you can, look into setting up a VPN (Virtual private Network) for when you’re travelling, as this can create a far more secure network whilst using Internet connection from the hotel’s WiFi. This means that you can feel safer when accessing important and sensitive information online, so it’s worth doing your research into VPNs to decide whether they’re a viable option for you.