Traveling abroad can pose unique cybersecurity threats, especially for business travelers carrying sensitive data. Whether working remotely, attending a conference, or taking a business trip, travelers typically bring personal and company-owned devices such as laptops, cell phones, and tablets that contain sensitive information.
It’s important to understand your environment, assess the potential risks you may face, and take proactive steps to protect your sensitive data. Follow these best practices to secure your data when traveling internationally:
International Travel Best Practices
- Don’t bring what you don’t need. The most efficient way to protect sensitive data is to leave it at home. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it.
- Prepare your devices and data before you travel. If you’re traveling for business and need to carry sensitive data, be sure to back up everything beforehand, create complex passwords on all devices and accounts, and ensure your antivirus solution is up to date.
- Turn off file sharing. Some devices have an option for file sharing, which allows a user to share and view others’ files while on the same network. Turning off file sharing will allow you to control which files are being shared from your device.
- Turn off Wi-Fi when you’re not using your device. Turning on airplane mode or turning off the Wi-Fi when your device is not in use will prevent it from automatically joining any unsafe networks.
- Don’t access sensitive information on a public network. You must always assume a public network is unsecure. If possible, contact your mobile carrier to learn about available data plans or purchase a virtual private network (VPN) to access sensitive data.
- Use Multi-Factor Authentication. MFA creates an extra layer of security which can reduce the chances of threat actors gaining access to your devices and accounts, especially when traveling abroad.
- Consult with an IT professional to discuss any potential risks concerning your devices and data or the destination you're traveling to.
A Proactive Approach
It’s important to take proactive steps to secure your personal and company-owned devices and sensitive information. The most important actions are done beforehand, such as backing up and updating your devices, utilizing multi-factor authentication, and understanding the risks you may face.
Lloyd Group helps organizations build a security-first mentality by creating continuously evolving security policies and programs that focus on confidentiality, integrity, and availability of client data. Learn more about our cybersecurity and risk solutions that will help protect your devices and sensitive data from threat actors and give you the confidence that comes from knowing your business is always secure.