Planning to undertake a trip to the glittering skyscrapers of Abu Dhabi or the world class culinary scene across the electric neighborhood in San Francisco? Or even to the neighboring city to see your grandparents. However small or big the road may be, carefree travelers are constantly at radar of the cybercriminals. Increased connectivity, adoption and dependency have built a formidable base for attackers to leverage and ‘trip’ you this holiday season.
Having our electronics compromised especially when we are away from home is the last thing any of us would want. Also, imagine being devoid of entertainment while travelling, which is why low battery haunts each one of us. But with the fast-paced innovations in the digital world, malware exists in the most unexpected places. Right from the charging stations at the airports to the USB ports available across, can potentially hold a malware and is easy to meddle with. A good hack to dodge this is to carry your own chargers and if you fail to do so, switch off your phone before connecting it to an untrusted source. This will prevent you from being a victim of juice jacking (personal information being tampered by hackers).
Another way our personal information can be threatened is by using public Wi-Fi. We sure are drawn into using free internet but these hotpots are targets for cyber masterminds and once we are connected, they have access to all the information that is transmitted across our devices. Norton’s Cyber Security Insights Report 2016 found that 44% of Indians are unable to determine if the Wi-Fi they are using is secure. Use of password protected Wi-Fi and a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that will keep your entire information private no matter how insecure the connection is. Gadget theft is also a huge issue in most countries. Not only should you take precautions to protect your devices from thieves, but you should also configure them for maximum security along with ensuring data back-up, so that if they are stolen, your much valued personal data remains unaffected.
There are other minor but significant ways in which safety can be ensured during your escapades.
Keep these in mind and levy the benefits of digitization.
• Make sure you lock all your devices, whether cellphones, tablets, PCs, or Macs. Either use a touch ID or create strong passwords. Use a combination of at least eight numbers, letters, and special characters.
• Update all your operating systems and apps to the latest versions to protect your devices from any known vulnerabilities.
• Print out as many travel documents at home as possible, such as boarding passes and baggage tags. The fewer automated kiosks you use at the airport, the better, because those touchscreen kiosks are hackable.
• Protect your smartphones and laptops with security software, such as Norton Security.
• Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth auto-connect features in your device’s settings to prevent automatically connecting to either as you traverse the airport. Turn off file sharing, too.
• Download a VPN app, like Norton Wi-Fi Privacy, to protect your information if you decide to use public Wi-Fi at the airport, café etc.