Keeping your information safe: maintaining cyber security when on holiday / travelling

As the world opens up again following the pandemic, NERBC Ethical Hacker Vytautas Glazauska, looks here at cyber security when travelling. Currently in the second year of Computer and Digital Forensics at Northumbria University, Vytautas attributes the NEBRC with providing an opportunity to learn new skills working alongside businesses and ‘real life scenarios’.


Connection and accessibility across the world are fundamental to many jobs. But while travelling employers and employees may encounter a situation in which their personal/business data can be or is compromised. Therefore, it is important to take as many security precautions as possible while on the move.There are different ways to add additional security layers for employers/employees whilst on a trip – and often it’s the ones you never thought of that can make a huge difference to your security.


Get your hardware updated

Ensure that all devices being used have the latest software installed. Outdated software has known vulnerabilities, which can be exploited and abused. Consider how much sensitive data is on your mobile phone holds - not only about you but others. You need to safeguard that data.


Public wifi hotspots

You should always be careful if using free Wi-Fi options as it is one of the most targeted areas by cyber criminals who love to use it to introduce malware or redirecting your browser to malicious content / websites. A good rule is to assume everything you are doing when connected to public Wi-Fi is visible to others. If you are visiting sports websites getting updates on the football, this isn’t so much of an issue, but if you are internet banking, checking emails etc. you can see how attractive this is to cyber criminals.


Reusing passwords

Reusing passwords can bring huge problems to businesses and the personal lives of employees. If one or only a few passwords are being used it can cause a huge threat if the password is compromised or stolen as criminals will try to use that same password against other accounts. To prevent this, use a password manager which can create unique passwords and store them in one encrypted and secure place.


Small things

While charging your phone at public places try to use the old-fashioned wall socket rather than USB ports. Keep your Bluetooth turned off while on a holiday as it is easy to abuse this technology and access your phone data. And never leave your devices unattended or unlocked.


VPN

Virtual private network (VPN) allows you to access the web anonymously and securely. VPN masks your IP (internet protocol) with encryption and makes your actions virtually untraceable. Wherever possible try to use a VPN when you are using an untrusted or unfamiliar Wi-Fi network to search the web, type passwords or send emails as malicious users on the same network can eavesdrop. They don’t cost much and are a worthy addition to keep you safe whilst on the move.


For further information on cyber security for your business contact a member of the NERBC team today – enquiries@nebrcentre.co.uk