Travelling is one of life’s pleasures, but it can also put your precious personal data at risk. In this article, I’ll share seven easy ways to protect your data whilst working and travelling abroad. In 2022, breaches of the Data Protection Act can have a severe impact on our finances, identity and even our medical activity. It can take a long time and a lot of hassle to resolve, something you want to avoid whilst on the road and travelling. Protecting our data is incredibly important in our day to day lives. But, there are ways to protect data while travelling or working abroad. If you’re a digital nomad or travel a lot for work, or are even just backpacking the globe. Let this article serve as a checklist to help protect both you, and you data, while you travel.
Keep reading for 7 easy ways you can protect your data when travelling and working abroad…
- Is it time for a data detox?
- Freelancing – how to ‘home office’ as a digital nomad
- 35+ Digital Nomad JOBS to change your life
What is a Breach of the Data Protection Act?
Anybody who holds an account, uses the internet or is registered with a doctor or dentist is sharing a significant amount of personal data. In most cases, the organisation involved will go to great lengths to make sure that your data is collated and stored in a responsible manner. However, on occasion data will either be accidentally leaked or shared or actively stolen by cybercriminals and, this is what we mean when we refer to data breaches. It could be as simple as leaving a laptop out in café abroad and someone sees whilst you’re in the loo.
How to protect your data while travelling:
There are a few fairly easy ways in which you can keep your data safe while travelling. We’ll take you through seven of the things that you should always do when working or travelling abroad:
Keeping Data Locked Down
A large number of people take up to three devices with them when traveling and often don’t think about locking them; particularly if they’re used to only using the devices when at home.
Before you travel, go through your devices and make sure that you’re familiar with how to lock them. Then get into the habit of keeping them locked apart from when you’re actually using them.
Avoid public WIFI when travelling
We all love a bit of free WIFI. However, using public portals is a really good way of opening the door to your data. Try to avoid using public WIFI wherever possible. If you do need to do this, try not to access any sites or accounts which may make your personal data vulnerable.
If you know that you’re going to need to access the internet a lot while you’re away. Either make sure that you have coverage from your provider or, try to stick to your hotel’s WIFI.
Disconnect Auto-connect to Avoid Hackers
When you’re at home, auto-connect is a great way of getting connected and getting on with your business as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, this is also a great way of giving hackers the green light to help themselves to your precious data. When travelling, always try to make sure that you disconnect auto-connect to minimise the risk of data breaches.
Change Passwords Regularly To Protect Data
Before boarding your plane, use that extra time in the airport boarding lounge to change all of your passwords. Or the ones for the the sites that you’ll be using while away. It’s a good idea to change passwords on a regular basis anyway. Doing this before a trip adds a vital level of security for your data.
We don’t, of course, have to tell you that you should not have any of your passwords written down under any circumstances. Particularly while you’re travelling.
Be Cautious About Sharing Locations
At one time or another, we’ve all been guilty of checking in on social media to our holiday the moment that the plane lands. However, this is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. To begin with, this may alert criminals to the fact that your home is currently unoccupied which can invite the possibility of burglary.
Secondly, your location and travel movements all go into the mix when a cybercriminal is planning an identity theft. If you must share your location on social media, make sure that your account settings are firmly on private.
Keep Bluetooth Switched Off
If you have Bluetooth on your phone or other devices there’s a good chance that you’ve probably forgotten that it’s even there.
Bluetooth makes it pretty easy for people to connect to your device. From there, they can take things to a more criminal level. Before travelling, double check that Bluetooth is firmly switched off on all of your devices and keep it off for the duration of your trip.
Invest in a Good Anti-virus To Avoid Data Breaches
You should, of course, have antivirus installed on all of your devices as standard. If that’s not the case, now is the time to do it. Making sure that you have a good antivirus on your devices as it’s quite literally, your first defence against possible data breaches.
It’s easy to let your guard down abroad…
These days, we’re so used to being glued to our devices throughout the day and night. Sometimes forget to think about security. Unfortunately, at any given time, there are a huge number of people out there who are relying on this and who are ready and waiting to get their sticky hands on your data.
The simple fact is that, by getting into a few good habits, you can drastically reduce your risk of falling victim to cybercriminals. Saving yourself a considerable amount of hassle and expense. By using this article as a checklist whenever you travel, you stand a much better chance of your trip being memorable for all of the right reasons.