Keeping your data safe while travelling

  • Keeping your data safe while travelling

    As of late, we are all on high alert for threats to our data, emails, logins and privacy as hackers up their game on getting what is most important to us. While we guard these details with our life in our day to day lives, you shouldn’t let your guard down when you travel for business. It essential that you take extra measures to ensure no personal information or company data is vulnerable to hackers while on the move.

    What could be vulnerable to the tech-savvy business traveller? Smart watches, mobiles and notebooks/laptops/tablets are all at risk to data breaches and such hacks are on the rise daily.

    According to Microsoft, the cost of cyber-crime globally exceeds US$500 billion, while data breeches can cost a company on average around $US3.8 million. In recent discussions with our IT consultant, he too has noticed the increase in cyber-crime and spam emails taking hard drives to ransom demanding bitcoin for safe return of company data.

    Are you aware of the currently threats data security circulating? Would you know what to do if your computer is taken over by hackers?

    If you or your staff travel for business and use wifi to access your data, here are some helpful tips to keep your personal information and data safe while travelling.

    1. Before you leave, update all your operating systems. Out of date software versions can open you up to threats. Software companies are always improving data protection to everyday apps or programs to help keep us safe.
    2. Don’t click on links that you are not familiar with. Not sure – check the ‘from’ email address and if it doesn’t look legit, it won’t be. Even if you recognise the subject line, always triple check the content as simple things like spelling mistakes or bad English will give you red flags that it’s from a hacker and posing as a familiar brand.
    3. Never hand over personal data or information via a link in an email. Log into your account manually and enter form there (i.e paypal).
    4. Have a plan. You may take the precautions but there is still a chance you may be caught off guard. Will you know what to do? Make sure you have the contact details of your company’s IT provider prior to departing. If in doubt, run a virus check with your security software.
    5. Don’t use free public Wifi. Free public Wifi is popping up everywhere both locally and internationally as telephone providers aim to win over new customers. As the opportunity for something ‘free’ increases, so does the opportunity for hackers to nab unsuspecting victims.  If you still need to access Wifi, try your Hotel as the next best option. However keep in mind that Approx. 38% of known data security breaches happen via hotel wifi. Best option is to disable your auto-connect Wifi function on your phone and purchase a local sim card.
    6. Keep your passwords strong. Use a unique password that isn’t obvious such as ‘admin’ or ‘passw0rd’ which were the most commonly hacked passwords of 2016. Enable facial recognition or fingerprint for your phone and finally implement two factor authentications.

    Top red flags that the sender of an email is a spammer!

    • The sender address is from someone you don’t recognise.
    • The email is another language.
    • Some of the words are misspelled in an attempt to trick your spam filter. For example, “Association” may be written as “Assocaition”, etc.
    • You are offered a large sum of money, but prior to collecting said money, you have to provide a small sum of money to the sender first.
    • You are asked to enter some of your personal data – bank account numbers, credit card numbers, usernames or passwords, etc.
    • Product advertised is far below retail price.

    Top red flags that you may be hacked!

    • Your screen is black with warning that ‘you’ve been hacked’ with request to unlock after paying ransom with bitcoin
    • Your device is running slower than usual
    • Files moved or deleted without your knowledge
    • New icons on your desktop

    If in doubt, always ask someone. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
    Since 1989, Pulse Travel has focused on efficiently reducing client’s Corporate Travel budgets, whilst policing Corporate Travel Policies thus saving both time and money. Make sure you follow our linkedin page ‘Pulse Travel’ for insightful information and how we can help you reduce your overall corporate travel spend. 

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