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Online Security for Business Travelers
When you are traveling on business, you still need to stay in touch and keep up to date with events back in the office. Even if you are half way across the world in another time zone, people are still going to expect you to be online.
Fortunately, or perhaps, unfortunately, all decent hotels provide internet access these days. In fact, anywhere you go you are likely to find a broadband connection of some kind.
Using the internet abroad, though, can leave you open to cyber security threats. As can using unsecured internet connections at home.
Are you a business traveler who often uses public internet connections? Then you need to be extra careful about your online security. Don’t get caught out on your next business trip. Read these top online security tips for business travelers.
1. Keep Your Operating System Updated
You know those annoying Microsoft updates? The ones that tell you “Don’t Turn Off Your Computer” when you are about to close your laptop and go home?
Those Windows updates are often security updates. They block the latest viruses or plug holes in the security of your system.
Keep your operating system updated. It could protect your computer from the latest cyber threat when you are abroad.
2. Be Careful About Using Public Wi-Fi
Cyber security is not as good in some countries as it is at home. Using public Wi-Fi in cafes and bars abroad could leave you exposed to cybercrime. Also, check what security protocols your hotel uses before using their internet connection.
If you do use a public or unencrypted Wi-Fi, avoid using any personal accounts. Don’t access any sensitive information. Someone could be monitoring what are you are doing on the internet.
3. Disable Bluetooth on All Your Devices
Bluetooth is another way for cyber criminals to access your devices. If you leave your Bluetooth enabled, a criminal could hack into your phone or laptop. Keep Bluetooth disabled when you are not using it.
4. Online Security Tips for Business Travelers – Use a VPN
The safest way to use public internet connections is via a VPN. Most large businesses have a VPN. Or, you can use a subscription VPN service, such as Vpnland or Streamvia. If you use a VPN, data going to and from your computer will be encrypted.
5. Be on The Alert for Rogue Wi-Fi Hotspots
At venues where there will be lots of people with computers, hackers may set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots.
This often happens at international conferences and busy hotel lobbies. Hackers set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots to steal people’s personal information.
The name of the Wi-Fi connection might look official. It might include the name of the conference or the name of the hotel.
Check with a member of staff before you connect to any Wi-Fi. Ask for the name of the official Wi-Fi connection and the password. Then, you’ll know you are connecting to the official Wi-Fi, not a scammer’s fake one.
6. Be Cautious About Updating Software While You Are Abroad
Be very wary if you get a message on your computer telling to update any software. It could be a hacker trying to trick you into downloading a malicious program.
If you need to upgrade any software, ignore the “Download Now” message. Go to the vendor’s website instead to download your upgrade.
7. Protect Your Passwords
Using strong passwords should be a part of your standard identity theft precautions. When you are travelling abroad on business, you need to be extra careful with passwords.
Use different passwords for different websites and apps. Never use the same password you use on important websites for hotel Wi-Fi connections.
One of the best ways to keep passwords safe is to use a password protection service, like keepersecurity.com. Then, you won’t have to remember passwords, and your password’s will always be secure.
8. Don’t Share Your Location
Sharing your location on social media keeps people updated about where you Are. But it also lets criminals know where you are as well.
If you share your locations while on a business trip, criminals will know that you are not at home. Local criminals will also know when you are not in your hotel room.
Be careful about what you share online when you are on an overseas trip. If you want to let someone at home know you are OK, give them a call or send them an email.
9. Keep Your Antivirus Software Up to Date
The most obvious all online security tips for business travelers! Make sure you have the latest Antivirus updates loaded before you go on a business trip abroad. Install a trusted brand of antivirus software, such as Norton or McAfee. Don’t rely on free antivirus software. It may not be enough to protect your computer.
10. Don’t Use Public Computers
Don’t use public computers in business centers or hotels. They may not be secure and there could be key-logger software installed on the machine. If you use public computers while you are traveling, only use them to visit public web sites. Never use them to log into any of your personal accounts.
11. Password Protect All Your Devices
Make sure that all your computers and mobile devices need a password to access them. Locking your devices will provide the first line of defense if they get stolen.
12. Disable Auto-Connect on Mobile Devices
When you are traveling abroad, it is advisable to disable the auto-connect function on all your devices. Auto-connect can be very convenient when you are at home. When you are away, though, you don’t want your phone connecting to every Wi-Fi hotspot you pass.
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