Hopefully, travel is going to happen in 2021. It’s certainly going to happen in 2022 and beyond. Modern travelers can get a lot of benefits out of technology. It is, however, also important to realize that your technology can leave you vulnerable, especially when you’re traveling. The good news is that it’s straightforward to keep yourself safe. Here are some tips.
Never use message auto-responses
If you’re working in a building with a lot of people then using out-of-office messages can be a reasonable move. Basically, there’s unlikely to be any harm to let people know you’re away if there are plenty of other people around. For homeowners and entrepreneurs, however, they’re a terrible move.
Decide whether or not your messages can wait until you get back. If they can’t then decide if you want to make time to answer them or to delegate the task to someone else. You could use a combination of both, just as long as you can clearly define what to do with different messages.
For the record, if you’re struggling to stay on top of messages in general, then you probably need to brush up on your message management. If that isn’t enough, then you might want to get help from an experienced business coach such as Paul Ognibene of Cohasset.
Pack your tech with care
Even if you’re only heading off on a weekend getaway, you’ll probably want at least a phone and tablet with you. You may want a laptop and/or a camera with you as well. You’ll almost certainly want all of these for longer trips – plus accessories. Choose your accessories with care, because they can make a whole lot of difference to your safety (cyber and physical).
Your first priority should usually be to make sure that all your main tech pieces are in appropriate cases. Phones need to be accessible, especially when traveling. This means it’s worth investing in a really high-quality protective case. Tablets and laptops can travel well in padded brown envelopes. These give a lot of protection but are still discrete.
Make sure you pack plenty of storage (e.g. memory cards), plus your own batteries and chargers plus USB data blockers. Basically, you want to avoid any temptation to use compromised storage or charging facilities. If you run out of storage or lose your batteries/chargers then either go without or buy new replacements from a reputable source.
Protect your connection
These days, you have to work on the assumption that any third-party internet connection is compromised. This means that travelers have two options. Firstly, you can stick to mobile data. Secondly, you can use third-party WiFi with a VPN.
VPNs are virtual private networks, sometimes known as tunnels. In simple terms, VPNs create a safe path, or tunnel, between you and the site you want to access, keeping you hidden from prying eyes online.
Of course, there’s nothing a VPN can do to protect you from people looking over your shoulder while you’re using your device. This means you should try to avoid doing anything sensitive in public locations. If you absolutely must, be very careful to make sure that nobody can see your screen.