Now that the world is opening up after the pandemic, it is time to brush up on your cybersecurity practices to ensure that you are safe online wherever in the world you are traveling to. If, like me, you keep your life on your mobile devices, just losing your phone or tablet can have catastrophic after-effects on your financial, social and business life. So, before you pack your bags and try to remember where you put your passport, let us go through this cybersecurity checklist.
Passwords are often the weakest link in people’s online life. OK< it is unlikely that the dodgy looking person sitting opposite will follow you on social media and know that your password is the name of your cat and dog, but you never know! If you have scores of passwords for different sites and services, writing them down in a notebook is not a good idea. Invest in a password manager to ensure that passwords are kept away from prying eyes. 1Password and Dashlane are tried and tested apps, but can be on the expensive side if you have a limited budget. After many years of using 1Password, I got fed up with the browser link so looked at Bitwarden. The basic app is free but the annual premium is less than £10 and helps continue development.
Public wi-fi can be dangerous and it is understandable if you are waiting in an airport lounge that you want to catch up with emails, browse some sites etc. Using a VPN is now considered essential. I was a regular NordVPN user but switched to Surfshark and although I am not overly happy with the bundling of its anti-virus module, I am happy with it as a VPN.
A rock-solid anti-virus service is another must-have cybersecurity tool. I was a long term Kaspersky user but with growing concern about possible links to the Russian government, I have switched to McAfee and although it looks as though it has been designed for the visually impaired, it is doing the job.
Unless you are listening to music or watching a film using wireless headphones, turn off Bluetooth. Bluetooth connectivity can present problems because signals come from all directions. When you leave Bluetooth on, people nearby can connect to your phone and possibly hack your device. Keep Bluetooth disabled as much as possible to prevent potential attacks.
Make sure all your apps are running the latest software version. Hackers can take advantage of weaknesses in software if it is not kept bang up to date.