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Keeping Your Data Secure While Traveling

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Traveling is one of the joys of life. Whether for work or leisure, the prospect of exploring a new place is an exciting one. It's always recommended you be aware of your surroundings, carry copies of identification, and use ATMs during daylight hours. Your physical safety is not the only thing you need to keep in mind while traveling, though. Your digital safety needs careful attention as well. Follow the pointers below to keep your data and personal information secure.

Don't Respond to the Unknown

Whether it's an email from an unfamiliar address or a call from a number you've never seen, your best bet is to ignore it. By opening an email from an unknown sender, you run the risk of downloading a virus or getting roped into a scam. A similar concern comes up when you receive a phone call from a number you don't know. Scammers use caller ID spoofing to conceal their identity and present themselves as a business or government agency in an attempt to steal your information. These con artists are particularly adept at scaring people into giving their personal information to them so they can quickly get in and out of your bank and credit card accounts. If you happen to pick up, ignore whatever person or recording is on the line and end the call immediately. The rule of thumb is, if you did not initiate the call, do not give your information.
Use a VPN

When you're on the road, it's like being in a virtual wild west. You no longer have the security of your private, password-protected home network. Most of the networks available to you will be private or semi-private. If the network is easily accessible to you, it's easily accessible to cybercriminals as well. Enter the virtual private network (VPN). A VPN is a service you can pay for that allows you to access the internet from almost anywhere in the world as though you were at home using your own secure network. It encrypts all your data and keeps information like usernames, passwords, banking information, and browser cookies inaccessible to those outside your network.

Block Access

Consider updating your passwords and using a password manager to keep them all organized. You might be thinking that using the same password for all of your accounts is an easy way to remember login information. However, if that is your strategy, a hacker will have access to all of your accounts once they figure out your one password. Make each password you use unique and as secure as possible by using the characters suggested on the site. Along similar lines, make sure the passcode or facial recognition feature is enabled on all of your devices. Another way to block access to your information is to turn off automatic blue tooth functions. Hands-free calling and audio functionality is excellent while you're at home or in your car. However, leaving Bluetooth on while traveling will make the information on your phone accessible to anyone within range.

Leave Them Behind

Tablets, laptops, even your phone should be left at home if you can swing it. The more gadgets you carry on your person, the more vulnerable you are to someone stealing your data. You're going to be too busy exploring to think about keeping track of several devices. You won't have to worry about your data or devices if you pack light and leave your electronics at home. If you can't stand the thought of leaving them at home, keep your electronics locked in the hotel safe while you're out and about.

You want to spend your time traveling on the beach or hiking the mountains, not on hold with a credit card company trying to dispute charges. Take just a few moments before you leave to make sure your devices and data are secure so that you can have peace of mind on your adventure.

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