Staying Cyber-Savvy When Travelling
We are free at last! Free to be jet-setters once more and throw caution to the wind. But just think twice before you post that selfie with your passport and boarding pass in all the excitement.
In light of Global Travel Week taking place in September, and the upcoming FIFA World Cup, we thought we would provide you with vital information before you flood your social media faster than the pilot can say “brace for impact”.
Travelling poses an additional cyber risk to individuals and businesses all year round. From being careless about online bookings to disregarding cyber security best practices, travellers often have their guards down when they travel, leaving security concerns to the back of their minds.
BE SMART ABOUT BOOKINGS
Fraudsters certainly know that you are tempted by the hotel, flight, and car rental discounts, and they will often pose as travel agents and create seemingly legitimate-looking, third-party websites.
Below are a few best practices for staying safe when booking:
Avoid acting on travel discounts received via unsolicited emails. Instead of clicking links or calling numbers included in these messages, you should visit trusted websites or call a verified phone number to confirm an offer is legitimate.
If you found out about the offer while searching online, the first few search results may have been placed there by cyber criminals, so double-check you’re on a legitimate website before handing over money.
Look out for spelling, formatting, and other basic mistakes that could indicate that a site isn’t professional. You can confirm if a site’s security level is legitimate by looking for an 'https' in the address bar (but remember that https is not necessarily the mark of a safe site).
Credit cards are the best option for making online payments because they offer a layer of protection and insulation that debit cards and bank transfers do not. Travellers should stick with a credit card when booking trips, even if they are promised a discount for using an alternative payment type.
If a flight or hotel offer seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. Be sure to carefully vet any offers prior to booking.
ON THE MOVE
Did you know there are dangers associated with remote working in airports, trains, hotels, and other travel-related venues?
Below are a few best practices for keeping your devices and data safe when on the move.
PUBLIC WI-FI NETWORKS
Free Wi-Fi is everywhere! Whether you’re more productive in your local coffee shop than in the home office, or you’re travelling for business and working from the hotel lobby or airport lounge, the lure and convenience of public Wi-Fi is strong.
Unfortunately, every time you log onto that public connection, you’ll be sharing the network with dozens, if not hundreds, of other people, which means your data isn’t safe — even if you connect to Wi-Fi with a password.
Below are a few best practices for staying safe on open-access Wi-Fi:
Use a VPN If you have access to your corporate VPN or have your own secure VPN while travelling, use it to protect your online activities. VPNs create secure connections, using encryption and other measures to allow data to be transferred safely over the Internet.
Limit your activities Strictly limit your online activities (i.e. do not log into any secure sites or perform any financial transactions). Avoid transferring sensitive data—including credit card numbers & passwords—while connected to an open-access Wi-Fi network.
Use a personal hotspot When in doubt over a network's security, rather opt for using mobile data on a smartphone, or use a smartphone to create a hotspot for your laptop or another device.
Cloud storage provides huge advantages to work and personal life when travelling and on the move, but as with anything online it introduces data security concerns.
Click on each of the best practices below to learn more:
Always log out of websites before exiting. Never use "Remember Me" for storing passwords.
Longer, more complex passwords are better. Use unique passwords for each site, and use a password manager.
Always enable MFA if the feature is available.
Maintain a regular backup on a physical storage device. Disconnect the storage device when not in use, and store it in a safe location.
Wi-Fi and private networks
Beware of free networks - they are often unsecured. Even password-protected networks can be unsafe. Always use a private network or VPN instead.
Enable notifications like push notifications, email, and SMS to alert you to unauthorised access. Immediately block unauthorised users if notified.
Whenever storing sensitive personal information or corporate data on public cloud storage services, encrypt the data before uploading it, so that even if the service is compromised, your data won't be.
Travelling and seeing the world is exciting. However, we need to stay vigilant and be cyber-savvy at all times. Did we mention that using public Wi-Fi for accessing sensitive personal and work accounts is a shitty idea - just checking?
Now go on - do the right thing and follow the above guidelines so you can travel with more peace of mind!
GoldPhish educates end-users on the cyber threat and helps build more secure organisations with awareness training and phishing simulation Get in touch for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org