Are you a sometimes road warrior? That is, someone who infrequently travels for business, so they don’t have a travel cybersecurity protocol in place?
I am excited to be traveling to and presenting at the American Medical Writers Association conference in San Diego this week, so I though I would share 7 easy ways I’ll be staying cybersecure while I travel.
7 Easy Ways to Stay Cybersecure on the Road
Travel requires navigating a mine field of public wi-fi networks, rando charging kiosks, and unsecured public spaces. Here’s how this cybersecure freelancer plans to manage these cyber threats on the road.
- Physical security. My devices (phones, computer) will not be left in public spaces. This simple step can be the best preventive measure.
- Password protection. All of our company devices are protected with strong, unique passwords, including those I will travel with. That means, if they are lost or stolen the likelihood the thief could access them is extremely low.
- Virtual private network (VPN). All devices have VPN protection installed, and company protocol is to use VPN on public networks. Public networks—like the conference center wi-fi, your hotel room wi-fi—expose your data to other users. I use VPN on my cell phone as well. While many consider cell service secure, that isn’t necessarily the case—cell service can be spoofed. So my phones are set to not seek out and join networks.
- Anti-virus. Anti-virus software protects my laptop and my cell phone, because malware comes in a number of different forms and can attack all devices.
- Private phone for 2FA. Unfortunately, SIM-swapping is a thing, and the results can be disastrous. I have a burner phone with a phone number known only to me that I only use for 2-factor authentication on my accounts. It’s an inexpensive way to protect my online accounts. [Read: When 2FA Isn’t Enough: The High-Profile Cybersecurity Threat Targeting Business Owners & Investors].
- USB data blocker. Mobile charging cords transfer data, so plugging into a public charging kiosk (or USB charging strip, or even hotel room lamp with a USB charger) leaves you vulnerable to juice jacking and malware. I’m bringing a compact Porta Pow 3rd Gen USB Data Blocker so I can charge worry-free. [Read: Avoid Public Charging Kiosks]
- Flash drive (USB jump drive). One of my 3 presentations requires a PowerPoint presentation—so I will follow best practices to prevent losing of data or bringing malware home with me.
Optionally, if you travel with a device on which you store sensitive or proprietary information, encrypting your hard drive offers next level protection.
These 7 steps offer incredible protection, and, with the exception of the very inexpensive Porta Pow 3rd Gen USB Data Blocker, they are preventive measures that should already be in place (and in practice) in your small business.