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Cyber Security Tips For Travel And Working Remotely

September 30, 2016

Staying safe while working remotely

As more Americans wirelessly connect on the go, they’re using hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. But many of these connections are rarely secure, giving cybercriminals the opportunity to steal your data and download malware to your devices. Following these simple guidelines can help you stay secure and protected.

What You
Should Know

Using certain Wi-Fi networks while traveling or working remotely could leave your data exposed.

What You
Can Do

Keep your software updated and avoid sending sensitive data over unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Woman looking at mobile phone to illustrate teleworking

Protecting your devices

If you travel or telework (working remotely or from home), the following guidelines for working off-site can help make your devices and data more secure:

  • Guard your devices while traveling, including USB drives
    • Never leave them unattended
    • Stow laptops in a car trunk or out of site
    • Keep them in carry-on luggage when travelling by air or train
  • Use two-factor authentication when connecting online
  • Do not allow family members or guests to use work computing devices
60% of people can’t go without Wi-Fi access for more than one day.1

Cyber security tips for travelers and remote workers

As a general rule, all teleworkers and travelers should follow these guidelines:

  • Use a VPN – Virtual private networks (VPNs) establish a secure, encrypted connection between your computer and the Internet or a corporate network.
  • Update your software – This makes sure all of your devices’ software and operating systems have the latest security patches.
  • Back up your information – Back up all information on your devices before traveling.
  • Protect from prying eyes – Enable the lock screens of your devices so they require a pass code to unlock—even if you only step away for a few minutes.
  • Turn off auto connect – Disable auto-connect for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  • Think before you connect – Before you connect to any open Wi-Fi hotspot in a public space confirm the name of the network and exact log-in procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate. Do not conduct sensitive activities, such as online shopping, banking, or sensitive work, on open, public Wi-Fi.
  • Use “https:” – Only provide information to sites that begin with “https://” when online via an open Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Think before you click – Use caution before downloading unknown documents and images, or before opening suspicious emails or clicking on any unknown links.
  • Protect personal information – Be wary of emails from unknown sources; especially emails requesting personal information.
  • Create your own hotspot – Many cell phones can be used as Wi-Fi hotspots that rely on your cell phone carrier’s network to connect your laptop/ other devices to the Internet, instead of open, public Wi-Fi.
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