Keep your data safe when travelling abroad 


Travelling is great. It exposes you to new experiences and allows you to see a different way of life, customs and traditions different from your own, all while experiencing incredible landscapes and fun getaways. When you’re on holiday, you only want to focus on your peace of mind, and you’d be forgiven for wanting to have absolutely no care or responsibility in the world. However, you must be sure you don’t become careless with your safety. 

Before you travel to a different country, familiarise yourself with the security practices and laws at your destination. Upon entry into the country, border authorities may request access to your devices. It’s essential to be aware of these regulations, as governments can be within their rights to monitor and store your Internet activity. 

So, what are some things you need to keep in mind when travelling abroad to ensure your digital information remains safe and secure? Let’s have a closer look. 

Fewer devices 

If you’ve already packed all your gadgets for an international trip, you might want to reconsider and leave some of them home before you step out your front door. The fewer devices you bring with you, the smaller your chances of encountering an unpleasant event. First of all, you don’t have to worry that you’ll misplace one of your gadgets or spill something on them or forget them in the sun. You can get more absent-minded on holiday, and it’s easy to forget to treat your items with as much care as you’d usually do. 

However, from a data protection standpoint, bringing fewer electronic devices along means there’s a smaller likelihood that your information might be leaked. Don’t bring along anything more than necessary. If it’s possible, only bring your smartphone along, and leave tablets and laptops at home. You can see it as an opportunity to reduce the amount of screen time you’re getting. 

Strong backups 

To ensure all your data is safe when travelling, make sure you backup all your media on a device or external hard drive that will remain at home. This way, if something happens during your travels and you encounter a virus, you can be confident that you haven’t lost your files for good. 

It’s also a good idea to change your passwords before you leave and pick codes that are a bit more difficult to crack. If you tend to reuse the same password over and over, with only tiny variations, this is the best time to change your habits. For additional safety precautions, you can enable 2-step verification. If your devices become somehow compromised, nobody will be able to access your accounts, so your files and media are safe. 

Careful with the Wi-Fi

The internet is undoubtedly one of the most important inventions of the modern world. What’s even better about it is that it is becoming increasingly more accessible. In fact, you can access the web no matter where you are now, and access to wireless network connectivity is almost universally guaranteed no matter where you are. When you’re travelling, you’re likely to spend a significant amount of time in airports and restaurants or coffeehouses. These places will most likely have Wi-Fi connection, and it’s tempting to join to chase away some boredom. 

However, you should be wary of public networks. This connectivity is vulnerable to security issues, as it is typically unencrypted. To be on the safe side of things, you should ask about the security protocol before joining any wireless connection. In the case of internet cafes or hotspots, you should avoid accessing accounts containing sensitive personal data. You don’t know who might use the same computer as you or who’s connected to the internet at the same time. Some individuals could potentially use your information for malicious purposes. 

If your data has been targeted while you were connected to a public internet network, you may be able to request compensation. Reach out to to get a better idea of whether or not your case fits the criteria for remuneration. Depending on the particulars of your situation, the amount you are eligible to receive can vary. This is why it’s essential to discuss the breach with a lawyer as soon as possible, so you know how to proceed further from a legal standpoint. 

Minimise sharing 

If you travel regularly, you’re likely familiar with the phenomenon of updating your social media pages as you move through cities or countries. And while it’s nice to share your whereabouts and the nice things you see with your family and friends back home, it can also be the cause of unnecessary security issues. 

By sharing at all times, your exact location can be gauged. In this sense, it becomes easier for criminals to accurately determine that you’re not at home or in your hotel room, leaving your belongings in a vulnerable position. Someone may attempt an intrusion into your accommodation and steal money or important documents. This is a scenario in which online data safety has genuine and often immediate repercussions on your real life. For this reason, it’s better to limit the amount of information you display to protect your personal property. 

Disable automatic connectivity 

Just like in the case of Wi-Fi, automatic Bluetooth connectivity can pose a threat to the security of your private information. Experts warn that incoming Bluetooth signals can reach you from virtually anywhere. If yours is activated at all times, assailants can potentially access your device and hack you. Keep it disabled to be on the safer side of things. 

When you prepare to travel abroad, you have a lot of things you must prepare. From making sure your documents are in order, to remembering to add everything you need to your luggage, it takes quite a lot of mental energy to get ready. And while it’s often overlooked, you must ensure that you don’t forget to secure your electronic devices. If you do that and practise safe browsing as well upon arriving at the destination, you’re taking the proper steps to protect your digital privacy.  


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