This holiday season is a perfect storm for mixing traveling with remote work. AAA predicts that more than 53.4 million people are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year (the highest yearly increase since 2005). Couple the upwards trend with the flexibility of remote work and this could be a recipe for disaster for cyberattacks.
However, following a few best practices can help keep you safe while online:
Don’t connect to open, public Wi-Fi networks
If possible, stay away from joining open, public wireless networks. These networks can leave you vulnerable to bad actors stealing your data or credentials.
Always use a VPN
When using a public Wi-Fi network, you should always connect to a VPN before you log in so your traffic is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by a third party. A VPN gives you online privacy by creating a private network from a public internet connection. This means that when you’re logging in to your work email or checking your Microsoft Teams account, your information is protected from prying eyes.
Turn off Bluetooth and NFC
Older Bluetooth devices that use outdated versions of the protocol may leave security holes that could open you up to eavesdropping from outsiders. Similarly, NFC lacks password protection, which can make it possible for hackers to gain access to your device. Leaving Bluetooth and NFC turned off can help prevent attacks due to any vulnerabilities your device may have.
Consider not posting your travels on social media
Knowing that you are traveling allows attackers to target friends and coworkers by giving them something about you that they shouldn’t otherwise know. This information can also leave your home vulnerable to threats.
Don’t store documents on your laptop or mobile device unless you must
While many of us will take a true holiday away from work, many will take advantage of remote work policies to extend vacations but traveling with equipment can create an additional security challenge. Accessing documents stored remotely on OneDrive, Google Docs, or Sharepoint is best in case your device is lost or stolen. If you must store documents locally, make sure your device is encrypted with Bitlocker or a similar program.
Don’t plug any device into a charger you don’t own
Chargers that use any kind of USB can be compromised easily, which can also lead to your device being compromised. Public USB charging stations at airports, hotels, and other locations can contain dangerous malware that lifts personal data from the device you’re charging.
Protecting your organization while you’re traveling for the holidays can be done by following these best practices, along with some additional cybersecurity best practices that can be done no matter what time of year. Click here to learn more.