Jul 1, 2014

Do You Follow These Security Tips When Traveling?

As we gear up for summer, it’s a good time to review best practices when it comes to your digital security while traveling. We’re all protective of our passports and our credit card information as we travel, but we need to be equally vigilant with our online activity and personal technology so we can reduce our risk of identity and financial theft while on the road.

Here are 12 tips to lock down your devices before you leave, and to minimize your risk while traveling.

Before You Travel


1. Leave it at home, if you can. While it’s tempting to travel with all of your gadgets, consider leaving a device at home if it’s not integral to the trip. It’s one less item to keep track of, and one less belonging to risk being stolen.

2. Enable PIN codes. On all smartphones, tablets, laptops, or e-Readers, enable the PIN code prompt. It’s an easy step to keep your device from prying eyes.

3. Enable multifactor authentication. Adding an extra login step makes it that much harder for someone to hack into your accounts. Enable multifactor authentication for LastPass, and for any other services you use that support it. Just be sure you take the multifactor authentication app or device with you!

4. Document your devices. Create a detailed list of the make and model numbers of your devices, the serial numbers, and other important details. You can store this information in a secure note in LastPass, especially if you need to report any stolen or lost devices.

5. Look into lost device protection services. There are a range of apps and services for mobile devices that help you track and retrieve them should they be lost or stolen. Look into options for your devices before you leave, and set them up. Lifehacker’s round-up of phone recovery tools might be a good place to start.

6. Log out of your apps. Launch each app and log out of any active sessions, as well as uncheck the “remember me” option on your apps. The LastPass Premium mobile apps will help you quickly log back in to any apps as needed.

7. Back up everything. For any devices you do choose to travel with, be sure to back up files, photos, music, and any other information you would not want to lose should the device crash, break, or be stolen. You can also back up important travel documents, such as a copy of your passport, as attachments to LastPass secure notes.

While You Travel


8. Avoid public WiFi. For payment transactions, online banking, and any other online activity that may involve user names, passwords, and personal information, avoid using open WiFi that could leave your information exposed to anyone snooping the network. Save those activities for secured WiFi connections. If you can’t avoid open WiFi, at least be sure you’re connecting to your sites via HTTPS (and update your passwords when you return home).

9. Don’t select “remember me”. If you have to login on public computers (like one in a hotel lobby) do not use the “remember me” setting. This could leave your session active long after you’re done browsing, giving someone else easy access to your accounts. And don't forget to logout of any accounts when you're done!

10. Clear browser history & cache. Before leaving a public computer, be sure to clear the browsing history and the browser cache to remove easily-accessible traces of your activity.

When You Return from Traveling


11. Update your passwords. Once you return home to a trusted device and a trusted network, be sure to update the passwords to any accounts you had to access on open WiFi or on public computers. LastPass makes this easier by generating and remembering new passwords for you.

12. Keep an eye on your accounts. Even if you were very careful while traveling, be sure to keep an eye on your credit card and online banking activity for any suspicious transactions, as well as your email and social accounts for any unusual activity.

Do you have any tips or recommendations for preparing your tech for travel?

9 comments:

  1. You don't have to avoid public Wi-Fi's if you have a secure VPN client installed on your mobile device. There are many available, free and paid alike.

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    1. can you name some of them?

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    2. The one I recommend is Tunnelbear. It's free for limited data use, $5/mo. for unlimited, and the paid version allows connections from one computer and two mobile devices simultaneously. If you're willing to endure some hassle, Orbot is available for Android, and is essentially Tor for those devices. Tor's nature means the connection will be slower, in favor of enhanced anonymity. I'm sure there are others, but those are the two I can personally name and have used.

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  2. Although you don't HAVE to avoid public Wi-Fi, it's still a good idea. Unless you have military security on your laptop or mobile device, it's still just a bit easier for someone to hack into your accounts when they don't even need to break the first "firewall" of a WAP security or WEP, etc.

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  3. When logging in on a public computer, launch the browser in "Private" mode, so all used cookies and history will be destroyed afterward, even if you forget to remove it yourself.

    When you're using a public computer to print something that you have on your email, consider using a service like http://maildrop.cc/ to send the mail from your smartphone to a random address. That way you can avoid logging in with your email address. Unfortunately this service doesn't work with attachments.

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    Replies
    1. Here's one site that does work with attachments: http://dropmail.me/en/

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    2. Malwarebytes advises me to not enter into dropmail.me, just in case someone is interested in know it.

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  4. If the sites you're visiting are all served over HTTPS, what's the risk when using public WiFi?

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  5. At the point when logging in on an open machine, dispatch the program in "Private" mode, so all utilized treats and history will be pulverized a while later, regardless of the possibility that you neglect to evacuate it yourself.

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