Summer is in full swing, and for some of us, that means vacation and travel. If you have to sneak some work in during your vacation, make sure that you follow these computer security tips for travel to keep your information safe. These simple steps can help ensure you, your devices, and your data travel safely this summer.
- If you’re traveling by plane, you might consider using a checklist after you get through security.
This can help ensure you don’t forget anything important at the security checkpoint. Better yet, consider investing in the TSA Precheck. Your computer can stay in your bag so you won’t have to worry about too many hands on your device.
- Your computer and all of your Internet connected devices should always have a password set up for access.
If you haven’t already set this up, do it now, before your next trip.
- If possible, encrypt your data.
See here for Windows data encryption options. If you use a Mac, see Mac encryption instructions here.
- Various laptop computer locks are available.
Get a laptop lock and use it to lock your computer to the table you’re working on at the coffee shop or other public area, or even in your hotel room when you’re absent.
- Consider setting up lost computer and phone tracking, especially if you use your phone for work purposes.
There are various paid services for tracking lost devices, or you can try through Gmail or Dropbox. See computer and phone tracking methods here. Remember, you need to set this up before you leave on vacation. Make sure you know how your chosen system works.
- Long before you go on vacation, make sure you are backing up your data regularly.
Two backup programs our team uses are Syncback, which has both free and paid versions, and Crash Plan for Small Business, which is $10/month/computer at the time of this writing.
- Use a password manager.
Don’t keep your main password manager password, or ANY passwords, easily available on your computer. We have some tips on what to look for in a password manager here.
- Don’t leave your devices unattended.
Be wary of having it locked in a car that’s out of your eyesight. Do not assume a backpack is secure just because it is on your back. If you are walking around with your laptop keep the zippers inaccessible and locked.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when using free and/or public wifi.
Many VPNs are very low cost if you buy a year at a time. Even hotels are not as secure as one might think. Some VPN memberships allow you to also use the VPN on your phone. This is a good idea for anyone using their phone for any reason while out and about. Our team uses NordVPN or Avast VPN, among others.
- Use a privacy screen to keep your sensitive information private.
You can use a privacy filter for computer screens and a privacy filter for phones to prevent “shoulder surfing.”
Taking a trip soon? What are your best computer security tips for travel? Share with us in the comments!