Business travel is nothing new. Nor is taking technology with you when you go. But as we become more reliant on our tech, we must be more vigilant about our protection, especially with valuable business documents. Hackers know this, and they’re on the watch for unsuspecting business travelers. Before you go, make sure you and your employees have prepared your tech tools for safe business travel.
Before You Go
Brush up on best practices:
1. Email spam, link checking, WIFI
Watch for emails sent at strange times, repeated incorrect grammar, a call to urgency, and always verify the sender. Pro tip: If you get an email from yourself to yourself that you did not send, do not open. This is a tactic that’s been going around lately, and unfortunately, some have fallen prey to the lure.
2. Pick up: privacy screens, backup chargers, webcam cover
Add privacy screens to prevent any looky-loos, get a backup charger in case yours dies or gets lost, and get a piece of tape to cover your webcam.
3. Disable auto-connect features
While convenient, it’s best to make sure you’re verifying every connection request to your phone so that no one is just accessing your info without your knowledge.
4. Don’t use borrowed chargers or public chargers
This is an ingenious tactic to steal information. You think you’re getting a charge while they’re downloading your info.
5. Look at Wi-Fi network names for errors
Free WIFI is great, but not when it’s a trap. Never create an account to use free Wi-Fi. It’s an attempt to steal information. Always verify open Wi-Fi networks with the facility provider.
6. No sharing – location, files, GPS, etc.
Restrict sharing permissions from your location, GPS, and files.
7. Have an incident response plan in place
If something should happen, it’s best to know how you’ll act so that you can minimize the damage quickly and efficiently. Having a checklist prepared allows your team to execute without being slowed down by the process that should be taken.
For your laptop
- Update your operating system
Out-of-date OS makes you an easier target for would-be hackers.
- Update software/Install patches
Outdated software and non-patched systems leave gaps in security that are easily snuck into. Make sure your anti-virus is updated, as well. Don’t make yourself an easy target.
- Encrypt your external devices + hard drive
Encryption is an added layer of security.
- Install a Virtual Private Network
Essentially imitates a private network without being physically connected.
- Backup files
In the event that your files become encrypted by a third party, or are lost or stolen, it’s wise to have them backed up to a secure storage location.
- Clear browser history and cookies
Clearing your browser history and cookies removes stored information that your electronics keep to expedite authentication processes, fill out forms faster, or store your shopping cart contents. This sensitive information can help hackers get into your personal accounts elsewhere.
- Strong passwords
If you haven’t been practicing this strategy, now is a good time to implement it. Strong passwords contain a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. This makes passwords harder to crack.
For your tablet/phone
- Update OS
- Clear history
- Password-enable your devices
- Set your devices to auto-lock in the shortest time period possible
We hope you wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked to your house while you’re gone. Don’t do the equivalent of that with your devices.
- Don’t check your electronics.
- Keep them on you so no one can tamper with them.
- Place on belt last.
- This ensures that you’re the closest one to your things once they clear security and there can be no “accidental” grabs.
- Keep devices in view.
- Much like your luggage, don’t leave your devices unattended. This means in your seat on the airplane, too. Take your phone or lock/shut down your devices while you’re not with them.
- Place in Airplane Mode when possible
- Don’t use unknown flash drives or USBs. This includes free giveaways. Free stuff is neat, but only when it’s not a free virus.
- Don’t use open Wi-Fi. Passwords keep nefarious users out.
Your trip went off without a technological hitch. Great! We still want you to run some diagnostic procedures on your devices, just in case.
- Scan devices
- Change passwords and PINs
- Check with IT Department/Provider for other things to check
Stay safe this season. Any fun work trips planned? Tweet conferences you’ll be attending at us on Twitter @CCRdotNet.
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