Cyber Security Field Guide – Computer Security While Traveling
As a business or leisure traveler, have you ever been concerned about your laptop, tablet or the data that’s on them? It turns out, the majority of travelers are more concerned about violent crimes like muggings, theft, and bodily injury than they are about computer security. However, they are more likely to be victims of data theft than other types of crimes.
It’s possible that many only consider cyber security and data privacy to mean high-profile or global cyber attacks. Not all hackers attack thousands of users at once. Many target a few victims at a time and take the data they need. The data may be something obvious like a credit card number, or it may be something a little more sideways like an email login which is then used to gain access to financial data.
Regardless of the attack vector, travelers are at risk. But they don’t have to be. Being mindful of internet use and especially how we connect to the internet when traveling can help protect us from a data hack.
This book is a guide for anyone who wants to understand how to protect their personal data like banking, credit cards, and other information on their mobile devices while traveling. I travel for work frequently. Most of the time I fly and then take some form of public transportation to my hotel. I try to walk as much as possible. I occasionally I rent a car but I’d rather be a passenger in an unfamiliar city. Because of the frequent travel, I’ve had the opportunity to observe all the scenarios I wrote about in this booklet. I’m even guilty of some of them too! My credit cards have been skimmed from kiosks. My companions have had their card data read by RFID readers on the streets of Las Vegas. At least my new bank sends me replacements cards as soon as they learn of the latest data breach.
We are such a connection dependent society that we cannot be without our smartphones and internet connections for more than a few minutes before we start to feel disconnected from the world. It is because of this need to be connected that we take risks with our data privacy and security. Most people understand that their connection to the internet is shared when in coffee shops and airport, but they don’t seem to think how this could impact their privacy. Could that person at the next table possibly be a thief trolling the open WiFi traffic for a password and credit card information? The answer is: “Yes!”