How to Stay Safe on the Internet When Traveling
It’s important to know and understand Internet safety tips when traveling? With all the recent hacks and data breaches it is more challenging than ever to protect our personal and sensitive information. When a malicious actor obtains our sensitive information like a password, financial information, or social security number the result can be catastrophic. Things can happen that can literally destroy your everyday routine.
One solution to prevent that from happening is to stay home all the time and never use any technology or tool like the Internet. That’s not realistic, our lifestyles demand the use of such tools and technologies. We are human, we need to communicate with fellow humans. We need to travel and enjoy going to new places. Traveling is part of our lives. We must know and use Internet safety tips when traveling. When traveling online safety is important, but don’t forget of offline security risks.
Photo by Lok Yiu Cheung on Unsplash
10 Internet Safety Tips When Traveling
Before we go over the top 10 Internet safety tips when traveling let’s talk about some general information and recommendations when preparing to travel. It is a good idea to contact your bank and let them know that you will be traveling and inform them of the countries you will be visiting. This simple phone call can prevent embarrassing moments when your card is declined due to suspicious activity.
Another safeguard is to keep a list of your credit card providers with their contact information incase one of your credit cards get flagged, lost, or stolen. Carry enough cash on you as to avoid using too many ATMs. This eliminate possible fees for using international ATMs and helps to safeguard you from compromised ATMs. Only use your credit cards at reputable establishments. When in doubt pay with cash. Also, exchange some cash for foreign currency before leaving your country of residence. This can save on excessive exchange fees.
While making travel arrangements like booking hotels and transportation beware of sites that may spoofing their appearance. There have been recent incidents of malicious actors creating sites that look like AirBnB.com and Booking.com.
Here’s 10 Internet safety tips when traveling:
- Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi — There are so many risks involved when using public Wi-fi. Not only do some restaurants and hotels fail to properly secure their Wi-Fi networks but hackers and cybercriminals have ways of infiltrating even supposedly secure Wi-Fi networks. Setting up a personal hotspot on your cellphone will allow you to avoid using public Wi-Fi.
- Always use a VPN When Accessing the Internet — There may be times when you will need to use Hotel provided Wi-Fi and a VPN will keep your data from being seen by any bad actors that may have compromised the network one way of another. If you’re not familiar with how to get and use a VPN feel free to read this article.
- Protect All Your Devices With Passwords or PINs — If one of your devices get lost or stolen it cannot be accessed if it is protected. Keep in mind on cellphones there is a setting that can prevent sensitive notifications from being view when the device is locked. Verify that this functionality is turned on. Also activate tracking features that are available to you. Your google account can give you this capability.
- Limit Your Social Media Posts Regarding Your Vacation — It’s fun to share that you’re having a great time on your vacation but this is one way a thief may know that you’re not home. All those awesome photos of you enjoying your luxurious vacation can wait to be posted until you return home. And, while traveling turn off Geo-tagging.
- Backup Your Data on Your Devices — Take the time before you leave on vacation to ensure all your data is backed up. That way in case a device gets lost or stolen you don’t also lose your valuable data.
- Utilize Two-Factor Authentication — Some people do not use two-factor authentication. If your one of them, before leaving on a vacation it might be a good time to start.
- Practice Safe Surfing — Don’t fall victim to fake websites and malicious links in email phishing scams. You should always beware of your environment but this is especially important when traveling. Nothing can ruin a vacation quicker than a malware infected device. Always verify that all websites you are browsing have an URL that starts with “HTTPS://”. The “S” stands for “secure,” and it means that your data is being encrypted.
- Keep Your Bluetooth Turned Off if You’re Not Using It — Malicious actors can intercept your Bluetooth signal from far away. Bluetooth typically travels around 30 feet but with special antennas it can be received from 100 feet or more. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in Bluetooth signals. Turning Bluetooth off can also battery power on your device.
- Ensure All Your Antivirus and Antimalware Software is Up-to-date — Check to make sure all your devices are set to auto-update.
- Disable Auto-connect on Your Devices — as you travel you pass through many Wi-Fi networks and if your phone is set to scan and auto-connect you may end up connected to a malicious network. At home auto-connect is a nice feature but not so nice when traveling abroad.
By always being aware of your surroundings and utilizing these 10 Internet safety tips when traveling you’ll have a better peace of mind that your safe.
Warning Signs that Something Is Wrong When You’re Travelling
There are some circumstances, like having your valuables stolen, that may occur that make it obvious that something has gone wrong. On top of using the obvious internet safety tips when traveling there are other precautions you take that will allow you to recognize warning signs indicating that something is wrong.
Each night before retiring use a secure banking app to check for any suspicious transactions. If you notice fraudulent charges contact your banking institution immediately. In addition to helping to spot bad charges it will allow you to keep an eye on your own spending (or excessive spending).
If you find that you cannot login to one of your financial or social accounts it may be a sign that your account has been hacked and taken over by a malicious actor. Immediately regain access to your account and secure with a new long and complex password. Learn about unique and complex passwords by reading this article.
Putting these recommendations to practice may seem like an overwhelming endeavor but if you make them part of your normal routine they will become second nature. Safe travel habits are good travel habits. Traveling can be stressful enough without having to worry about staying safe and secure.Blogs Directory
Updated on November 23, 2020 by Kirby Allen