We've all heard the statistics. Data breaches and hacking are on the rise, with more than one billion data records stolen globally in 2016, as researched and reported by Risk Based Security. However, there’s less information about how many people are hacked while traveling whether through using unsecured wireless connections, letting their guards down or running into theft and sophisticated hackers.
With the vulnerable state of the world, it’s crucial to protect your assets as you jet set from destination to destination, as well as at home. Here are five ways to get a handle on your security and protect your assets.
Rely on a Safe Smartphone
Not all smartphones are created equally and require the right encryption technology and safeguards to protect your assets. Let’s start with the basics. Your smartphone should already be encrypted to keep prying eyes and hands at bay. It's estimated that only 10 percent of the world's 1.4 billion Android phones are encrypted while all iPhones created after 3Gs come with encryption technology in place.
That means the iPhone X is obviously encrypted, but it also comes with additional security enhancements. The iPhone X comes with Face ID where your face becomes your password. If your iPhone ever gets lost on vacation or while traveling, no one can open it but you. That means no one can unlock your phone, pay with your mobile wallet, open sensitive documents or find saved passwords to your banking apps and give further protection to your assets.
Encrypt and Backup Your Data
The data on your laptop is or files in the cloud are vulnerable to theft and hacking without the right safeguards in place. Failing to properly back-up your data can also leave you wide open to ransom attacks. Imagine logging into your computer only to find you’re locked out with a note from a hacker demanding money to unlock your files. Without a solid backup and encrypted data, you’re locked out and at the mercy of hackers.
One way to combat hackers is to cut them off at the source. They have no leverage over you if you already have your files backed-up and ready to restore. A system like Mozy can automatically back-up your devices on autopilot and uses military-grade encryption to keep it all safe. When you need to do a restore, you can pick and choose files or back it all up to a new device and beat ransomware hackers at their own game.
Access Secure Wi-Fi Connections
It’s tempting to get caught up in the excitement of your vacation and log into public Wi-Fi to do everything from check email to make internet-based phone calls and pay bills. But unsecured Wi-Fi is prime targets for hacking and easily digging into your devices and sensitive information.
For starters, just avoid using public wireless altogether. Rely on a hotel’s Wi-Fi or a spot with a virtual private network. If you can’t come up with a solution, try tethering your smartphone and piggybacking on your own data plan. You end up creating your own password protected hotspot to use on the go.
Secure Your Home
Although digital assets are a big priority for safeguarding and protecting, your home still needs the right security in place while you’re away. Make sure you have an alarm system with outdoor cameras and remote viewing capabilities. This way you can check in on your home right from your smartphone to see what’s going on around your property.
Ask neighbors to pick-up flyers and mail, and alert the local authorities if you will be gone for more than a few weeks so they can keep an eye on your home. And instead of giving out keys to friends and neighbors, rely on a system like August Smart Lock. Instead of trying to keep tabs on who has physical keys, you can generate digital codes instead to let people in and out, see who has been at your home and set expiration dates for access.
Traveling should be a fun and carefree experience, but your assets should not lay vulnerable during the joy ride. Take preventative measures to protect your assets before, during and after your trip. Hopefully, the only thing you’ll end up worrying about is a little sunburn and early morning wake-up calls to enjoy a day of sightseeing.