Imagine you’re sitting on the beach without a care in the world, sipping a fruity cocktail with one of those tiny umbrellas. But then you go to check your phone and you discover that someone has stolen all of your personal data. Holiday over.
You may have a plan in place for when you’re at home to keep your devices and your data secure, but it is a different story when you are travelling.
We all see these photos on social media of people who post pictures of their boarding passes as they embark on their holiday.
Blogger Brian Krebs saw a similar photo from a friend on his Facebook newsfeed. Krebs discovered that from this picture you could actually retrieve a lot of information about who the boarding pass belonged to.
Krebs took a screenshot of the boarding pass and found a website that was able to read the barcode on the boarding pass. Once scanned, the boarding pass revealed information such as his friend’s name, frequent flyer number and other personal information.
This information allowed Krebs to access his friends’ reference number for the flight he was taking. All he needed was the reference number and his friend’s last name and he could easily log into his friend’s frequent flyer account which allowed him to make changes to future flights, access to his phone number and even cancel flights.
Don’t let this happen to you! Here’s how to keep your data safe when travelling:
1. Do not post pictures of your boarding pass online
Needless to say that after hearing the story above I’m sure you won’t be posting photos of your boarding pass onto any social networking sites anytime soon. Social media is great but can also be dangerous if you overshare. For more information about protecting yourself from online criminals, read our blog about how burglars are using social media to find targets.
2. Beware of public WiFi networks
One of the best things you can do to help keep your data safe when travelling is to avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. Unsecured networks make it easy for someone else who is using that Wi-Fi connection to access the information you are sending ‘through the air’.
You should always try connecting to the most secure network possible, namely one that requires a password. For this reason when you are logged onto an open WiFi connection, avoid logging into your emails, social networks and bank accounts.
3. Beware of shared computers
Try to avoid using shared computers in hotels or public libraries when travelling. Using shared computers is a risk because you don’t know what security is installed on these devices and what malware you will be exposed to when using them.
To help keep your data secure in those cases when you have to use a shared computer, make sure you enable ‘privacy’ or ‘incognito’ mode on your browser when surfing the web. This stops the recording of browsing history and the storage of cookies so anyone else who uses the computer will not be able to see what sites you were visiting.
4. Protect your devices
This might go without saying, but to keep your data safe when travelling, it is crucial that you password protect your devices with a good password. It’s important that you take the extra time to create complex passwords for your devices that use a combination of numbers, symbols and letters. This way, even if your devices are stolen, thieves won’t be able to access any of your personal information.
5. Backup your data
Before you go on holiday it’s important that you backup your devices to a hard drive just in case anything was to happen to them while you were on holiday. Backup all of your data, photos, music etc, so you won’t lose everything if your computer is stolen.
6. Use privacy screens
For extra protection to keep your data safe, consider using a privacy screen over your laptop. Privacy screens are great for keeping prying eyes from seeing what’s on your screen.
If you travel a lot but still want to keep an eye on everything going on at your home or business check out Cammy. Cammy allows you to keep an eye on your home or business from anywhere in the world right from your smartphone. If you are interested in learning more about how Cammy can work for you while you’re travelling the world, check out our website.