Five Tips on Data Security for Traveling Mompreneurs
As a mompreneur, you are juggling the most challenging of workloads: being a successful business owner and being a busy mom, too. There’s no doubt that you sometimes just need a break from everything and go on a vacation. Even then, packing can be overwhelming, but it pays off when you know sunny beaches and relaxation await.
However, with the development of international businesses and cooperation between markets, you may find yourself having to travel for business as well. This adds an additional layer of stress to your packing routine as you think about how to keep your devices and your data safe while you’re on the go.
Here are some simple safety measures you can take to help you protect your business data every time you travel:
With the rise of the ever-present internet today, being prepared for travel emergencies is no longer simply about packing a basic first aid kit. Now you need to take preventative action before you even leave. This is never truer than when it comes to data security.
The best way to be prepared is to take these steps before you even complete your travel packing:
- Backup all of your data fully and change your password to something complex.
- Install the newest software, app, and security updates.
- Download travel apps to help you with emergency phone calls, local directions, local recommendations and translation
- Remove sensitive data that you don’t need on your trip from the devices you plan to carry with you.
- Alternately, designate special travel-only devices that contain only the data essential to the purpose of your trip.
- Set your travel devices for whole-disk encryption.
Once you have done these things, you can finish packing and hit the road.
Keep Your Devices in Sight
Your vigilance is just beginning when you set out for your journey. Just as you wouldn’t set your luggage down and walk away and assume it would still be there when you got back, so too you should never let your devices out of your sight at any point during your travels.
Airport security can be problematic as well, especially when you have to part ways with your devices while they go through the airport scanner system.
The best approach here is to carry your devices and an airport bucket with you and only put it on the belt right before you enter the personal scanning booth. That way it is out of your sight for the least amount of time. If you’re selected for a random search, ask to retrieve your devices before that begins.
The same holds true for your approach to hotel security. You should never leave your devices in a hotel room safe, instead take them with you every time (consider investing in a small backpack or carrier you can take with you easily).
Avoid Public Networks and Devices
One of the most serious risks you take as a mompreneur traveling with sensitive data is when you encounter public Wi-Fi hotspots. These hotspots are so beneficial for hackers that sometimes they will even set up their own “free” and unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot, hoping travelers will choose to connect to it.
This can happen anywhere where there is a network connection with limited public access as well, such as the type you would find inside a hotel, business center, coffee shop, airport waiting lounge or local cafe.
Keep in mind that connecting to public Wi-Fi is dangerous and can give hackers access to passwords and other sensitive data you input while you are connected to it. Try to avoid using these as much as possible.
If you have no other choice but to use public Wi-Fi, consider using a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt your data. You can also tether your devices together using your private Wi-Fi or travel with a private router you can safely connect to.
Don’t Use Public Computers
In case the battery on your laptop dies, you might be tempted to, for example, access your email on a public computer. Just as using public Wi-Fi isn’t safe, using public computers could also pose a threat to your personal data.
Computers in places such as hotel lobbies, cafes or libraries can be packed with viruses, malware, and spyware. They could be infected with keylogging malware which can keep track of your every keystroke. This means that hackers could gain access to your passwords and other sensitive information.
With this in mind, use public computers only if it’s absolutely necessary and limit the use to browsing. Never log into any website that requires you to input your username and password.
Final Security Check
Even if you have made it all the way home and have not yet detected anything amiss with your devices, it’s best if you do the following:
- Change your passwords.
- Discard any traveling SIM cards you were using.
- Reformat devices that may have been exposed to spyware.
- Have an IT specialist check any device that is behaving strangely.
Keeping your sensitive data safe while you are in traveling may seem like a cumbersome job at first, but do it often enough and it becomes like that trusty packing list you can’t live without. Taking these safety precautions into consideration before, during and after your trip will help you keep both you and your business data safe.
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- Five Tips on Data Security for Traveling Mompreneurs - April 4, 2017