4 Ways Expatriates Can Protect Their Data
Those who love to travel for extended periods of time or intend to work overseas know that there’s a lot to consider before taking off on your next adventure. A quick trip to Italy might just require a passport and some luggage, but longer trips require some preparation. One thing you should consider before your next trip is the importance of protecting your data overseas, and here are a few tips on ways expatriates can protect their data.
1. Know Your Provider
Whether you’re just checking in to social media or working with sensitive programs like IPFIX, a quick way to put your data at risk is by using apps by providers who don’t provide extra layers of protection like micro-segmentation. For some types of browsing, extra security might not be an issue, but for things like online banking or other situations where your private information is being exchanged, you’ll want to make sure you’re going with the safest choice.
A good thing to look for is whether an institution provides insurance in case of unauthorized transactions or access, and ensuring that your data will be encrypted. Switching over to a bank near your new home may not even be necessary, and often you can continue using the same card and information in any large metropolitan area. So taking the time to ensure your provider will be keeping you safe can give you peace of mind as you travel.
2. Take A Look At Your Accounts
Any account you’ve made in the past is a possible window for data breaches that could wind up creating a domino effect, depending on how you tend to set up your accounts. This is especially important when traveling since you’re never 100% sure that your current WiFi connection is safe. With the sheer number of accounts most people have to make just to operate on the internet, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll end up getting some information stolen. You can mitigate this effect by doing two things: 1) not using the same login information more than once, and 2) using multi-factor authentication whenever it’s available.
That way, one account breach will not guarantee another, and you’ll have an extra layer of protection in case an attempt happens. Another thing to consider is what a data thief could possibly learn from you by gaining access to an account. Could they build an accurate picture of you that could open you up to further attacks? Or is your information too basic for anyone to use? You may want to play around with account settings and see what information you’ve put out publicly that might be better off staying private.
3. Use A Virtual Private Network
Because of the real potential of unsafe WiFi connections, while traveling, it’s a good idea to start using a virtual private network (VPN) on your next trip. Essentially, you’ll be creating your own private network within the public WiFi you’re using. Anyone attempting to use that connection to steal your information won’t be able to see what you’re doing, keeping you safe from the attack. Plus, in countries where information is censored, a VPN can give you access to whatever you need for your work, social media, or the news.
4. Keep Devices Close
While your data is in danger by attackers via the internet, it can also be stolen the old-fashioned way: by getting hold of one of your devices and breaking into it. A major reason why travelers have their devices stolen is that they become a little too casual about keeping track of them while out and about. In some places, it’s safe to leave your phone or laptop on a table while you use the bathroom, but in others, you’re almost guaranteed to discover that your device has been stolen.
Being an expatriate is a lifestyle that offers adventure, fun, and opportunity. Make sure your experience is also a safe one by following these tips.