Casual International Travelers Should Pay Attention to Their Digital Security
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Having one’s things stolen while overseas is a fear of many, but too few travelers pay attention to their digital pocketbook — resulting in potentially disastrous consequences.
Our international society is as connected as ever, but a recent report from Alexandra Talty of Forbes pointed out that the connectivity can be used to steal valuable personal information including credit card and bank account numbers, and other important pieces of one’s identity.
Alone with zero money in a foreign country? It sounds like a plot from a movie or a nightmare, but it’s quickly become reality for far too many who don’t take the necessary steps to safeguard themselves. Once upon a time, people traveling overseas simply had to pick up traveler’s checks, but protecting oneself in the digital era doesn’t need to be that much more difficult.
READ MORE: FBI, TSA Warn Airlines About Wi-Fi Hackers
Talty recommends a number of things — many of which are common sense for regular Internet users, but which may be disastrous if someone is lax with their digital practices. Among them, she recommends staying off of unencrypted Wi-Fi and not accessing any important information while on free Wi-Fi hotspots. She also suggests changing passwords regularly and not clicking on suspicious links, which may be tempting for someone who has been overseas and regularly giving out their email to various hotels and agencies.
On top of the more common sense suggestions, Talty also warns against using Bluetooth and location services, which can make your personal device easier to hack. She also trumpets the use of two-factor authentication, which sends a text anytime someone logs onto your account. Two-factor authentication can be tricky for international travelers, but a Google Voice account can take care of that worry.
With Talty’s suggestions, those far away from home can hopefully stay one step ahead of the hackers.
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