If you’re traveling for pleasure this summer, plan to travel without your work devices—enjoy your vacation away from work! However, if you do need to take your work with you, please consider the following ten helpful tips to reduce possible stress while you are away:
1. Update Your Software
Make sure your devices (smartphones, tablets, and laptops) have all of the most recent updates installed. This will allow them to run using the most secure and functional versions possible.
2. Use Strong Credentials
You your passwords should follow security best practices (at least 12 characters in length, formed from characters that include upper-case, lower-case, numbers and symbols). Make sure you employ multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all logins including access to your laptop through a USB flash drive.
3. Back Up Your Critical Information
Do you have critical information on your devices? Back up the data, either through cloud-based storage or with an encrypted USB flash drive, in case you lose your device, or it breaks during vacation.
4. Pack the Right Chargers and Adapters
Pack all of the correct chargers for your devices. Plug them in before you leave the house to make sure they are charging. If you’re traveling to another country or spending long hours driving, bring auto adapters and/or adapters that plug into the wall correctly with the correct power output for your devices.
5. Keep Your Devices Physically Secure
Store your sensitive device in a case to keep it safe from nicks and dings. Always keep your devices within sight–all it takes is leaving a device unattended for two- or three-seconds for a thief to strike. Do not leave your device in your vehicle–cars are a common target for thieves.
6. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi When You Need Encryption
Public Wi-Fi is handy when you want a quick Internet connection. If you need to use public Wi-Fi hotspots make sure you are using https:\\ at the beginning of the URL. If you regularly use public Wi-Fi, use an application that connects you through a VPN server (example, NordVPN, NetMotion, OpenVPN). This will encrypt all the traffic between your device and the Internet. You don’t know who has hacked into the unsecured network. Even local governments can spy on your dealings through a Wi-Fi network if you’re outside the United States. Cellular data networks may be more secure.
7. Do Not Plug Your Device into Public Charging Stations
USB changing station may leave your device vulnerable to “Juice Jacking”. These USB power stations can be used to load malware or steal data from your device. Always use a trusted source when charging. Use your own charger and plug it into an AC power outlet.
8. Avoid Posting Your Location on Social Media
Your family is excited to be traveling somewhere new but avoid posting your location on social media for everyone to see. Thieves can easily use that information to prey on you while you are traveling or break into your residence while you are away.
9. Delete Data from Rental Vehicles
Will you rent a vehicle on your vacation? If you connect your devices to the rental, delete any data from the rental’s infotainment system before returning it.
10. Have Fun!
Being safe with your technology when traveling doesn’t have to consume your every thought. Just a small amount of preparation and caution will allow you to enjoy your time off.