Your laptop may be a target for thieves or cybercriminals while you are traveling. It doesn’t matter if you are on a business trip or on a family vacation. Thieves and cybercriminals are using strategies to get, not just your laptop, but your personal information.
Forbes Magazine reported that cybercriminals are using hotel Wi-Fi to infect guests’ computers with malware using pop-up alerts. As the cybercriminals and thieves launch creative attacks, it is critical travelers take security measures.
What You Can Do Before You Leave
There are several things you can do to improve the security for your laptop before leaving for your trip. Cal State LA’s Information Technology Services recommends not storing your personal, confidential, or proprietary information on your laptop. This information can be saved on a removable storage device.
Never pack this storage device with your laptop, but keep it in a secure place when traveling. Backing up your files onto either a hard drive or in the cloud will assure nothing is lost if your laptop is stolen. Update all of your software including antivirus software at this time to avoid using hotel Wi-Fi for updates.
Purchase a nondescript case or use another type of carry-on luggage so as not to advertise the contents to thieves. The case needs to be small enough to keep with you if traveling by airplane.
Traveling By Airplane
Cal State LA suggests when traveling by airplane never place your laptop in the overhead compartment. Thieves can easily remove it when you are not looking. Never leave your laptop case unattended even for a moment as thieves tend to work in busy places in order to blend into their environment. Some thieves will pose as employees or conference attendees.
Watch your laptop carefully if you must place it on a conveyor belt during a security check. Thieves will work together to lift any merchandise from the belt without you seeing them.
Cal State LA points out that if two thieves are working together they may be in front of you in the security checkpoint line. The first thief will pass through with no problems, however the second thief will delay. If you place your laptop on the conveyor belt during this delay, it will move out of your sight and the first thief can steal it without anyone noticing.
Staying At The Hotel
As mentioned earlier, never update your software when using hotel Wi-Fi as cybercriminals have developed strategies to steal personal information or send computer viruses. Certain malware give the cybercriminal access to the webcam on the laptop and can record from anywhere.
When leaving your hotel room for any length of time, place your laptop in the hotel safe as you may not be able to trust all hotel staff.
These tips work for tablets as well as computers. In this day of technology, you can never be too careful with your devices while traveling. Implement these super tips before your next vacation.