Travelling is one of the rare, outstanding experiences, which can be just as life changing as it is pleasant. There's something to it - getting away from home, getting to know other cultures, a sense of freedom. Sadly, the life changing experiences might not always be for the better.
Cybercrime is one of the bad things that can happen to you while travelling. Around this time last year, just before the global lockdown started, Forbes released an article on Airport cybersecurity. They found out that "97 of the world's largest 100 airports failed to pass the tests set by one leading web security business."
Those are frightening statistics. And what could be worse than losing access to your banking account or having it emptied in the middle of your voyage?
1. Prepare for it beforehand
When you've left the safety of your home and your country, it's too late to start thinking of cybersecurity. You need to be prepared. So how can you do that?
First of all, ensure that all your information, all the data on your gadgets is backed up. That means that if you lose access to these devices - maybe you lost them, or they got stolen or hacked - you won't lose access to your crucial information.
Your banking logins, social media passwords, or even business documents that you forgot were on the laptop you took - losing it will be a severe nuisance. Data backups are easy to do and are recommended by cybersecurity professionals continuously.
2.Use encryption software
Data-leaks and information theft are the most common dangers in the virtual. Some say data is the new gold, and they might be just right. Companies like Facebook and Google collect excessive amounts of data for their ends, be it ads targeting or psychological profiling, and some people have a problem with that.
But that's not the worst part. Cybercriminals are continually stalking for easy data-grabs. Like in the airport example, cybercriminals tend to attack Airport Wi-Fi networks because these frequently lack proper security measurements. If you've connected to one of those networks and someone is spying on it, you might lose confidential information.
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are the number one go-to software for public Wi-Fi security. It will encrypt your data so that no third party can take a look at what you're up to. Most advanced VPNs have mobile Apps, so just turn it on and connect to one of its servers before using public Wi-Fi.
However, keep in mind that countries with tight Internet censorship, such as Russia or Iran, often restrict the usage of VPNs or have outright banned them. This means that if you try to access online information there via VPN, you might even get into legal trouble. So be aware of local Internet laws and use VPN strictly to protect your data on public Wi-Fi.
3. Use a password manager
Another crucial cybersecurity service is a password manager. Password management has been a headache for many years now, and cybersecurity experts still warn that people are using generic passwords like "qwerty", "password123", and alike. This is extremely dangerous, and this is why.
Personal e-mail addresses are almost public knowledge these days. We use them to register for dozens of different services. And if the password that's protecting that service is "password123", then it's easy to guess. And a cybercriminal can guess it, access your account, and do all kinds of troubles there.
Imagine you're on a train and need to double-check something online. You need to login and, without worries, type in your easy-to-guess password into your browser. But somebody behind you has been looking at what you're doing, and it's not unheard of that passwords were stolen in this way.
Remember, a cybercriminal is looking for an easy target. And they spot a tourist when they see one. They might as well follow you into a coffee-shop and wait for you to connect to public Wi-Fi and then grab your password via spying software.
Password managers like NordPass have an autofill function, so you will never have to type passwords by hand, and no one can see it. Furthermore, NordPass will also encrypt your passwords in a secure vault, so when you're using your password on a public Wi-Fi, there's no chance of it ending up in the wrong hands.
It's comfortable, and you can try out the NordPass free version, which provides sufficient functionalities to secure one of your devices. And if you've used LastPass free version you should be aware it is getting some downgrades and you might want to look for alternatives.
These are just the basic three tips, but they can protect you against most common hacks. Don't let your trip be pestered by constant invasion of your privacy or spoiled by data breaches - always make sure your online security is bulletproof before embarking on any journey.