Business Travel & Device Security: How to Keep Your Data Safe

17
Nov

Top 10 Tips for Business Travel Device Security

Business Travel Device Security

When you’re travelling for business, knowing how to keep your data private and secure is paramount.

What Every Business Traveller Needs to Know To Secure Their Laptops, Smart Phones & Tablet Devices When They’re Working Remotely

Just about every few days we hear about a business being hacked and millions of files being compromised. Business travel device security and data privacy are key issues to consider. What about your company? What about your employees? Is your business protected from cyber attacks? What measures are you taking to make sure your travellers are knowledgable about business trip security? Mobile device security? 

There are a number of ways our information can be stolen. First, we leave our devices unguarded and they can be physically taken; a crime of convenience. Usually, this is just by someone hoping to sell the hardware to make a buck. A worst case scenario is when an executive is actually identified, targeted and preyed upon to gain valuable business data.

We all rely on our electronics. They contain everything from contacts to business information, from grocery lists to passwords to our financial accounts. As employers and employees, we need to protect both the company information and our private information. In this article, we are going to look at some tips as to how to stay as secure as possible especially during business trips.

  1. Lock your device with a password

We all know the drill on passwords. Sometimes we think it is a nuisance – but it is serious. Our passwords need to be unique, contain upper and lower case letters, contain numbers and symbols. Having a strong password will keep others from accessing your accounts.

  1. Install the latest security software

Comprehensive security software can protect your devices and data against viruses, it can also backup and restore files. If stolen, your devices can be locked and wiped cleaned and even located on a map. Installing and keeping this software up to date should be a priority of every business.

  1. Location – Know Where You Are

Some countries are riskier than others for malware making it’s way onto your device. According to Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report released in November of 2015, Asia Pacific countries are among the highest at-risk for malware. If you travel to these high-risk areas and are often in possession of sensitive company information, you can consider the use of “sanitized devices” that have little to no information on them. Devices and data can be compromised – it’s better to reduce as much risk as possible.

  1. Less is More When it Comes to Apps

Every app you have on your phone or tablet is just another way you are giving access to your device. Know the terms and conditions of everything you install. What are they wanting to access? Download only from well-known sources such as Apple App Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone Store. Always scan it with security software before downloading.

  1. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

By disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth it will keep your devices from connecting to unknown networks. Turn these systems on only when you are going to use it.

  1. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

We cannot always avoid public Wi-Fi. If you do need to connect, use a VPN which will encrypt. As a company, you can adopt one specific VPN application and load it on all devices. Or as an individual, you can also purchase a VPN application.

  1. Logout

When you have finished using a particular service with your device, such as your banking, always log out. If you don’t and someone happens to get your device they will have access to all your data.

  1. Do Not Connect Your Phone to a Rental Car

Rental cars can contain software which capture the following information: mobile number, call and message logs, contacts, text messages and GPS data of the locations you have visited – a considerable risk for business travel device security. Even when charging, it is suggested only to charge your device using the cigarette lighter and not a USB port. The USB port may be collecting information from your phone. If you do connect your phone, make sure to clear the dashboard before returning the car. Keep in mind though, that not all vehicles contain a cigarette lighter anymore. For business travel, it’s always a good practice to keep a fully charged back up battery on-hand to charge your devices on-the-go.

  1. Never use public computers

But if you do need to use one, here is a list of Don’ts for public computers:

  • Do not go to any website where you need to log in with a username and password
  • Do not check your personal or company email
  • Do not log into your company servers
  • Do not look at your bank statements

What can you do on a public computer/tablet? Check the news, play a game or watch videos. Just do not log in to anything of importance. It is better to play it safe.

  1. Do not leave your devices in your hotel room

We like to think we have a certain amount of security inside the walls of our hotel rooms but that is not always the case. Using the in-room safe is one level of safeguard for business travel device security. But even so, it is best to keep your valuables on you at all times, including electronics.

Bottom Line to Keep Your Devices Secure When You’re Travelling for Business

Most of these tips will be easily incorporated to keep your devices safe during business travel. It is just a matter of training your employees to remember to use them. For business travel device security, the more knowledgable your corporate travellers are, the safer your data will be. One important business travel motto is “less is more,” meaning if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. Travel light – it is easier and safer.

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