Data Safety Tips When Going on a Business Trip to Europe

Data Safety Tips When Going on a Business Trip to Europe

Data Safety Tips When Going on a Business Trip to Europe

Europe is one of the key destinations for business travellers, with major world cities that attract investors and clients in their droves. But before you set off on your trip, you must remember that you’re responsible for all your data safety while abroad. This includes both your own and your company’s information. The following are the top tips for securing your data when you head to Europe on business:

Follow Company Security Policies

If you travel on behalf of your company, they likely already have procedures in place for protecting data while you’re out of the office. Review any policies to make sure you’re not risking business data or even your job while overseas.

For instance, you may be asked to turn off location sharing while using any company-issued device. The business may also have procedures for choosing a VPN to use while on any public Wi-Fi.

Keep Your Devices Updated

Keep Your Devices Updated

Keep your devices, including personal and business laptops and smartphones, up to date with the latest software patches and security updates. Cybercriminals often attempt to exploit known vulnerabilities. The patches update the software to prevent malware and other types of attacks.

It would be best to install antivirus and firewall protections on all devices you plan to use while in Europe. Ensure the software is also updated to help you stay vigilant against the latest known security threats.

Back up Your Data

Before travelling to Europe, back up all your essential personal and business data—there are several options for where to create the backups. You can use external hard drives or cloud servers. If your device gets lost or compromised, you’ll have a recent backup of your critical data.

Be Cautious with Public Charging Stations

Public charging stations may threaten your device’s security, and several national agencies have warned about the dangers of using them. Criminals can hijack the charging stations and install malware inside of them. When you connect your device through the charging cable, cybercriminals will have access to your device and any data found on it. To combat this, bring your device’s official chargers with you on your trip. You can also bring portable chargers. If cables are lost or broken while abroad, research and replace them with a high-quality, reputable brand.

Be Cautious with Public Charging Stations

Use Strong and Unique Passwords

Strong and unique passwords are essential to keeping your data safe while travelling. Remember to change your passwords before and after your trip to Europe. Avoid passwords that are easy to guess. Instead, select complex passwords of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You may also consider using a password manager during your trip. This tool can create, encrypt, and automatically enter complex passwords for you.

Implement 2FA

Choose to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on any devices, websites, and apps that offer the option. Two-factor authentication will send a temporary code to a mobile phone number or email address to verify your identity.

This can prevent someone from accessing your work accounts without authorization. As they will be unable to provide the secondary code to verify their identity, they will be locked out. You will be alerted to the login attempt, giving you time to reset your password.

Leave Unnecessary Devices Behind

When travelling to Europe for business, only bring the necessary devices to perform your job duties. Company-issued devices are preferred for all work-related tasks since they are more likely to have better security measures.

Never leave any of your devices unattended or unsecured. If working in open spaces, be careful of your sightlines and ensure no one can spy on your screen from behind you. Don’t check in your devices at the airport. Instead, bring them in a carry-on while flying. While at your hotel, place the devices you don’t need within the room safe.

Educate and Train Employees

Educate and Train Employees

If travelling with a team, you must ensure everyone is on board with the same data and cyber security practices. Conduct training sessions before you leave for Europe so that everyone understands the risks involved with public networks and unsecured devices.

Your team should also follow strict social media guidelines. Turn off location-sharing settings on social media. Avoid oversharing or documenting all of your meetings and travel plans. This sensitive information can give criminals a heads-up on where you are and what you’re up to.

Enable Device Locking Mechanisms

Lock devices with extra security features such as fingerprint scans and facial recognition. You could also use PIN codes or create device-specific passwords. Many devices have a remote erase feature. If enabled before your trip, you can remotely erase all data from your laptop or smartphone in case it’s lost or stolen.

Disable Bluetooth Connections

While Bluetooth offers convenience for connecting devices like headphones, it can also pose security risks. When turned on, your devices may be discoverable to nearby devices owned by strangers. Disabling Bluetooth connections when not in use prevents known security issues.

Cybercriminals can exploit Bluetooth by requesting to pair with your device. When accessed, they may be able to steal sensitive information or send you malicious files.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Whether at an airport, a coffee shop, or at your hotel, you will no doubt connect to the internet at some point during your trip to Europe. You must be careful when doing this, as it can introduce enormous risks to your data safety and cybersecurity.

This is because public Wi-Fi networks are often a hotbed for criminal activity and have little to no protections in place. Criminals can monitor network activity and steal information from complacent business travellers. The best way to protect yourself is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

So, how does a VPN protect you? A VPN encrypts your data and keeps your IP address private. The security features prevent passwords, financial details, and other private information from being compromised. When choosing a VPN, select one that offers security features for business travellers.

Don’t Procrastinate

Although following these data safety tips might seem tiresome, they will significantly enhance your security while on business in Europe. Whether travelling alone or as part of a team, making data security a priority will help you focus on your work and not worry about cybersecurity threats.

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