This holiday season, many Canadians will be traveling to spend time with their families or to escape the cold weather. While many will be taking some time to wind down for the holidays, hackers will not. Those traveling with corporate devices need to be wary of potential cyber attacks that could put data at risk. The holidays can be hectic, and it can be easy to forget about security. Dealing with a cyber attack is not ideal but encountering one in another country or while you should be relaxing can be frustrating. Here are 5 cybersecurity tips for your holiday travel, that you should be aware of before you leave.
5 Ways to Protect Your Data While Traveling This Holiday Season
1. Charge with your own cables: You’re out enjoying your vacation when you realize that your phone battery is low. Ahead you see a public charging station. Should you use it? Maybe not. While plugging in your USB cable to a wall outlet is safe, using a cable that doesn’t belong to you can be dangerous. Hackers can rig the cables in a charging station to spy on your device while it’s connected to the charging station. If you need to use a public charging station, turn off your phone or simply not use your phone while it’s connected. The best way to always be safe is to use your own cables and bring a battery pack with you.
2. Avoid ATMs: If you’re strapped for cash and thinking of using an ATM, be wary of credit card skimming. Credit card skimming is when hackers use small devices to steal credit card information or clone cards. These devices can be hard to spot, and hackers can install these skimmers very quickly. In fact, most ATMs can be hacked in under 20 minutes. Inspect ATMs before you use them. If you see loose parts or if one part of the ATM looks suspicious, don’t use it. If you need an ATM, consider using one located inside a building as opposed to one out in public.
3. Be wary of your surroundings: It’s easy to be distracted while you’re in the midst of a crowded airport or train station but this is when hackers will target you. Shoulder surfing is when people try to obtain sensitive information by looking over a person’s shoulder. This can be an effective way for bad actors to get access to your information especially when you’re in a crowd. To prevent shoulder surfing, avoid opening your personal accounts in public. Find a spot near a wall or use a screen filter to block prying eyes.
4. Recognize vishing attacks: Vishing is a form of social engineering that takes places over the phone. Hackers will call potential victims and try to convince them to give up personal and financial details. They often disguise their voice and phone numbers to hide their identity. With many people gearing up to go abroad, be aware of vishing scams posing as airlines or giving away vacation deals. Do not share your financial information over the phone unless you are speaking to a legitimate authority.
5. Turn off your network connections: Disable the automatic connection of your devices to public WiFi networks and turn off your Bluetooth. Public WiFi networks are unsecure and those around popular tourist spots are more likely to be targeted by hackers. Hackers can also access your information through your Bluetooth connection as well. Be wary of using public WiFi to do online transactions or logging into personal accounts. Make sure your devices are protected with Next Generation Firewalls or a VPN. Try to use wired headphones instead of Bluetooth ones, and avoid turning your Bluetooth on in large crowds.