How to Keep Your Data Safe When You’re Abroad

Travelling abroad rarely means losing connection in today’s world. Two-thirds of the world’s population is connected to the internet – and this figure is only likely to keep rising. Yet this convenience can come with increased risks to your data security. 

Thankfully, a little planning can do a lot to protect you when you’re on the move. Follow the tips below to keep your data and devices safe and sound. 

how to keep data safe when abroad

Be Cautious with Public Wi-Fi 

Public Wi-Fi networks found in hotels, cafes, airports, and train stations are convenient but can be dangerous. Sure, they might be handy for killing time and catching up on news or social media. However, these networks are frequently unsecured, making them hotspots for data theft. 

When using public Wi-Fi, avoid accessing sensitive information such as bank accounts. Instead, wait until you can use mobile data or access a secure connection. 

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) 

A VPN is essential for secure browsing and communication when travelling. There’s a high chance that you’ll rely on public networks while on the move.

These are often targeted by cybercriminals due to their unencrypted nature. A VPN encrypts your internet connection in a secure tunnel, making it impossible for hackers to see and steal your data. 

Some providers allow you to use a single VPN account across devices. Once installed, knowing how to use a VPN is key. Ensure that it’s active before connecting to any public network. 

Make sure to research and choose a VPN provider with a strong reputation for security. Free versions are available but often have weaker standards. 

how to keep data safe when abroad

Secure Your Devices

You should protect all your devices with strong passwords. That means avoiding common weak passwords such as ‘123456’ and ‘password’. Consider using biometric locks, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, for extra security on compatible devices. 

Additionally, avoid leaving your devices unattended in public places. You should also make use of facilities such as hotel room safes if you’re not carrying your devices while out for the day. 

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)  

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts. It requires a second form of verification in addition to your password. This could be a text message, an email, or an app notification. 

2FA may seem frustrating when you want to access your devices or accounts quickly. But enabling it can heavily reduce the risk of unauthorised access, even if someone compromises your passwords. 

Backup Your Data  

It’s smart to back up any important documents and data to a secure cloud service or a physical hard drive before you travel. This guarantees that you can recover your information if the worst happens and your devices are lost, stolen, or compromised. 

Regular backups also protect you from ransomware attacks. This is where attackers demand payment to restore access to your data.

Combine Security Measures for Peace of Mind

Travel broadens the mind but can also expose you to increased cybersecurity risks. By using these security measures, you can protect your personal information and enjoy a more worry-free journey. Share these tips with your fellow travellers to help them avoid any bumps in the road.