How To Protect Yourself On The Internet While Traveling

Picture of Girl using public Wifi
Picture Depicting Airport

How People Spy on You 

Long security lines. Crowded airports. Cramped airplanes. Tight connections. Traveling, whether for business or pleasure, blends a hectic mix of physical discomfort and emotional distress. 

It’s in these situations where security awareness becomes even more important. Imagine that you have a 90-minute layover in a busy airport. It’s just enough time to grab a quick meal and knock out some work. You find a seat at an overwhelmed café and open your work laptop. 

But did you notice… The people sitting around you? 

They can see your laptop screen. Known as “shoulder surfing,” any sensitive data on your screen will surely catch the eye of a social engineer. 

So everyone uses the same WiFi?

Connecting to public networks essentially makes anything you access on the network also public. Cyber criminals use public WiFi to steal information. 

The person sitting next to you eavesdropping on your conversation? 

Whenever you find yourself in a public setting, discretion is key. You wouldn’t want someone overhearing your private conversation with a business associate or client. 

The USB cable left on a public charging station? 

Did you know that cyber criminals can not only infect USB devices. They can also infect cables with malware (a tactic called “juice jacking”), but they can also “leave behind” malware on public charging stations? 

Wherever you go, there you are. Escorting you on the journey are security threats that eagerly await a simple misstep or lapse in security awareness. Avoid becoming a victim with these five steps: 

Airport Lobby

The Human Firewall’s Guide to Working Remotely 

Be situation-ally aware. 

If you’re visiting a local coffee shop for the 50th time, or a faraway country for the first time, it’s important that you keep your guard up. Mind your surroundings, shield your device screens from prying eyes, and never let your personal items out of sight. 

Avoid public WiFi. 

If possible, use a cellular data connection, and don’t log into accounts that contain highly sensitive information. If you have to connect to public WiFi, use a virtual private network—software that provides an encrypted connection to help prevent data theft. 

Use discretion.

 If you must access sensitive information in a public setting, make sure no one can see your screen, and no one can overhear your phone calls. 

Be wary of USBs. 

Never use a charging cable or plug in a USB flash drive that doesn’t belong to you, especially if it’s one you found at random. Criminals hack USB devices—including public charging stations—to spread data-stealing malware. 

Always follow policy. 

Whether you work from home, on location, or at the office, it’s your responsibility to know and follow our organization’s policies. Notify your embassy: Several weeks before you travel.

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