IT Security Tips for the Frequent Traveler
Depending on your perspective, traveling for work can be exhilarating or frustrating. Wherever you land on it, there are certain truths you have to face when traveling, especially when it comes to your IT. We all know just how important data is, and if you are traveling for work, keeping your company’s data safe has to be made a priority. Since travelers have a tendency to use Wi-Fi accounts that seem secure enough until something bad happens, today we will go into detail about working life on the road, and how to prepare for situations without putting your client’s or company’s data at risk.
When going away on a business trip it is important that you research your destination beforehand. Now that there are Internet-based resources to look up your exact destination, its amenities, the businesses that surround your destination, the time and cost of getting to a destination, do it. You’ll also want to check the weather and the news to ensure that any hindrance you could have, you’ve prepared for. Being prepared is always much better than being surprised, especially when it comes to business travel.
When packing your things, you’ll want to pack light. In fact, if you can get away with using only carry-on bags, you will be one step further in the game. If you are going for an extended period (more than five days), however, you will likely have to acquire a lot of your toiletries and other essential daily items at your destination rather than taking enough of it to last you the whole time. It may be a little more expensive, but the convenience of not packing it all is totally worth it; and, will help get you through security checkpoints easier.
You’ll also want to charge all of your electronics you plan on bringing before you leave. There are also affordable battery packs and portable chargers that can really be a godsend when you are away from an outlet for stretches of time. You’ll also want to print all your information beforehand so that you have an idea of your itinerary and your confirmations in writing.
Travel and Arrival
At the airport, you’ll be tempted to use the Wi-Fi, but before connecting any device to it, consider how secure an airport Wi-Fi could possibly be. If data security is at all a priority for you, you will avoid the Wi-Fi and use your device’s data instead.
Once you get to your destination, the first thing you are going to want to do is ensure that you have everything that you came with. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to your destination without your stuff. Sometimes the airlines will misplace your luggage, but typically having everything you left with is possible when you get there but will likely be more challenging when you are returning (more on that in a bit).
When you get to your destination (typically a hotel), you’ll want to get to your place of lodging and survey the technology landscape. Chances are you are going to need Internet access. For this, you can choose to use your smartphone, but this can get expensive for an individual if they are forced to use their data for work purposes. Sure, there are unlimited plans that you can get from almost any carrier, but even they often have language written in the fine print that provides less-than-stellar Internet access when you’ve used a certain amount of data.
If you don’t want to use your data, you will need to find a reliable Internet connection. In places where business is routinely done, you can expect that people will utilize the Internet access that is made available to them.
The problem with this is that many seemingly secure and reliable connections, aren’t.
For this reason, many businesses have begun to utilize virtual private network (VPN) technology to ensure that any data transmission completed on outside networks is properly secured. The VPN is essentially a portal to send and receive data. This is a solution that is set up by the IT administrator and used for transmissions providing business travelers with a secure connection between the sender and the receiver. Utilizing a VPN allows you to secure yourself, and your company’s and client’s data, from any entity monitoring the network waiting to intercept information.
In order to have the most success on your return trip, you’ll want to actually live out of your suitcase. This can be a little easier said than done, but ultimately, you packed your suitcase nice and neat for the trip, if you keep it packed while you are there instead of just yanking clothes out and leaving them around the room or in a laundry pile, you will find it much easier to pack to return home.
One thing that any person that travels a lot for work should consider is signing up for a rewards program through the hotel chain that you’re using. The more you travel, the more points you get. There are all types of different programs that can really pay off when you actually want to travel for leisure, not for business.
Some Technology to Make Travelling Easier
There is some technology that makes traveling much easier. This includes:
- Smartphones - With the use of a smartphone, you can book a ticket, check in, fly to wherever, buy food, check into your hotel, all while having a meeting and playing Candy Crush.
- Wearables - Wearable technology like smartwatches and RFID tags provide travelers with a lot of value. The smartwatch can keep your phone in your carry-on or pocket. Since notifications can be displayed on your smartwatch, you can just check your wrist for texts and calendar events. Today’s Android wearOS is better at tracking nearly everything than previous versions of the software; and, it has integrated options that are exceedingly useful.
- Digital Wallet - True, there is some risk to using a smart wallet. If your phone gets taken, there is a small chance that they will be able to access your money. That risk is very low and now that you can pay for things with your smartphone, it keeps people from having to carry a lot of cash on them, mitigating risk. The transactions themselves are completely encrypted multiple times and typically through a renowned financial vendor like Visa, so there is very little worry about payments being diverted or access to the money in your digital wallet being compromised.
We hope that these tips and suggestions will help you stay safe and save time and money on your next business trip. If you would like to know more about acquiring a VPN solution to enable secure remote access to your files, contact our IT professionals today at 603-889-0800.
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