How to Protect Yourself When You Travel

Travelling is a huge part of many people’s jobs nowadays, including mine. As the CEO of a new company, travelling for work has been my reality for many years. I’m constantly checking emails, reading reports, and overseeing important documents. Sometimes I have to do this on a plane, in a restaurant, or my hotel room and security is always a top priority when I’m working remotely. 

But for others, security of their work while travelling isn’t taken into consideration. So I’ve put together five ways to improve your privacy while you travel. Check them out below. 

Check out the video version of this blog on our YouTube channel 

1. Minimize
Only take the information you need with you when heading out on the road. I always make sure to empty my wallet of things I will not need. I also only bring the devices I need for my trip. I have a cheap laptop that stores a minimal amount of data but still allows me to access my personal and business cloud services in the event I need to access additional data. Same for my phone: delete the apps you do not need. If I am crossing borders, I typically remove my connected accounts like my Gmail and Office Mail. I also delete any of my apps that have private data and conversations. It’s not a lot of work to re-add anything you need once you have crossed the border

2. Encrypt
Make sure to encrypt all computers, hard drives, or thumb drives you bring with you. Same for your phone (this is default in most modern phones). BitLocker will encrypt your Windows machines and FileVault will cover Macs and external storage.

3. Physical Security
Keep your confidential documents, your wallet, phone, laptop, etc. in a secure location at all times. When staying in a hotel, leave items behind in a locked safe. When you need to have items with you keep them on you, don’t leave them on a coffee shop table while you go to the washroom.

4. Watch out for Curious Eyes
Be aware of who is around you when you are entering passwords or accessing other sensitive data on your devices or documents. Purchase screen guards, like 3M’s privacy filter, for phones and laptops. This will make it harder for others to snoop over your shoulder and see things that are not meant for them

5. Backups and Redundancies: 
The only thing worse than your privacy being violated on the road is to lose critical devices or documents. Make sure that you have online back-ups of your critical devices. If your phone gets stolen you will be able to buy a new one and download your critical information. Also, keep copies of your passport and other critical documents in a secure online location. Make sure you have more than one bank card and credit card and store them in separate locations. If you get mugged on the way back to the hotel from a meeting and lose your credit card, it sure is nice to know you have a backup in the safe in your room.