Every seasoned traveler is well aware of certain precautions when traveling overseas.
Guard your passport and your wallet with your life… Don’t carry an excessive amount of cash… Be cautious of your surroundings, especially at night…
It’s unfortunate that many travelers invite a world of trouble by ignoring basic cyber-security precautions when going international.
Ways to Be Cyber-Safe on Foreign Soil:
Assume Zero Privacy:
Many countries do not have legal restrictions with regard to tech surveillance. Business and government travelers have reported having their hotel rooms and belongings searched while they were out. In other words, don’t let electronic devices out of your sight. Even hotel safes aren’t always safe.
Avoid Wi-Fi: In some countries, wireless networks are controlled by security services; in all cases they are insecure.
Cover Your Tracks: Clear your Internet browser after every use; delete history files, caches, cookies, and temporary Internet files.
“Free” Means Free for All: If you see signage for “free Internet” (be it in an airport, hotel, or other gathering spot) don’t fall for it. Why? There are some bad dudes out there with two or more wireless cards in their computer: one connected to the Internet, the other allowing people to connect to the Internet. They’re not doing it to be generous; they want to see what’s on your computer.
Tow the Company Line: Don’t use non-company computers to log into your company’s network. And don’t allow foreign electronic storage devices to be connected to your computer or phone. They may contain malware or automatically copy your stored electronic data. Don’t use thumb drives given to you, either…they may be compromised.
When You're Back on Home Turf:
Make a Change: It’s best to change all of your passwords, including your mobile phone voicemail password.
Check for Trouble: Run a check on your electronic devices for malware, as well. The sooner you do that, the better.
Wipe It Down: Corporate travelers traveling internationally with a “loaner” device should see to it that the hard drive is reformatted and the Operating System/software reinstalled. Sometimes, the device is even destroyed, post trip. It might see extreme, but corporate espionage is an increasingly serious threat for the business traveler, requiring major countermeasures.
Looking for more worldly advice on traveling safely abroad, especially while on business? Take it from our country’s security authority, yours truly, the FBI.