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Safe Travel Tips: Data Security and Privacy Risks

If you travel around with your laptop, you may be creating a risk for you business. This is because you are more likely to have your company data stolen when you step outside your office or home. Particularly hotels have been a hotspot for hacker activities, as many guest as business travelers.  A laptop doesn’t necessarily have to be stolen. All a hacker has to do is download all your confidential information onto a USB stick, the entire process can take only a few minutes.  Using software such as Mailpassview, criminals are able to grab all your password and usernames in a matter of seconds. It can be quite scary to know that your password can be stolen right under your nose. Luckily you can take the following steps to ensure the security of your laptop.

Encrypt your data:

First, users should understand that all their sensitive data needs to be organized in folders. Prioritize which information belongs where and create subfolders accordingly. Users should safeguard their sensitive information with folder encryption software.  Such software is capable of creating individual encrypted lockers which can be password protected. Users are also able to backup these encrypted folders to a dedicated cloud server which also encrypt the data on another level. Hence users’ data is encrypted with two layers, making it impossible to steal confidential corporate or personal information.

Setup a strong Windows password:

If your laptop doesn’t have a password setup, you are making a grave mistake taking it out on a trip. Your password is the first line of defense that will keep hackers out of your PC. Sure, hackers might be able to eventually get through your system, but a password will buy you valuable time. Also make sure that your password is strong. Using passwords such as ‘12345’ ‘password’  ‘abc123’ or hilariously ‘monkey’ will get you no protection.

Disable your CD drive and USB ports:

Your CD drive and USB ports are like a faucet, all one has to do is turn the valve and out comes the data. Consequently, if there’s no water in the faucet, it won’t leak. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to disable your CD and USB ports temporarily – at least when you’re travelling on business.  It’s quite easy to disable them, all one has to do is modify the Bios settings and disable external rives.

Use VPN software:

Public WI-FI connections are generally free and unsecured. If you have to connect to these networks, make sure that your connection is encrypted. Hackers have access to sophisticated software which can connect to victims PC and spy on them. Eventually, your passwords and usernames can be stolen without you ever suspecting a thing. Using a Virtual Private Network ensures that your identity is hidden and your connection to the internet are encrypted. In a nutshell,  your information cannot be hacked by criminals, no matter what type of tools they may be using to intercept your information.

Summary:

Keeping your data secure requires that users encrypt their data, password lock their PCs and use a virtual private network to secure their connection.

About Mohammad Irfan Ali

Mohammad Irfan Ali
Mohammad Irfan is the Lead Content Strategist at NewSoftwares. His main interest is in web related threats, phishing scams and social networking hoaxes. He is the admin of Talk Security and regulates the publication of all blogposts.

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