The idea of traveling often ignites excitement in employees since it means additional responsibilities, new layers of trust from employers, and perhaps an intriguing new deal. Of course, you will take your laptop, tablet, mobile phone, or all of the above to help you navigate the project, which means you will most likely use unsecured networks. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to keep your data secure from the time you leave the office until the time you return.
5 Tips to Keep Your Data Secure When Traveling
Whether you are heading off to some far northern tundra in the dead of winter or to a beach resort in the Bahamas, traveling for works means that you are moving up in the ranks. The company trust you have earned means that you need to protect everything associated with your work and organization throughout your journey.
Work with your company’s IT team to determine the biggest risks you will face in keeping data secure while working on your device—or anyone else’s device, possibly—while out of town. In the meantime, consider adopting some of the following 5 tips to keep your data secure when traveling:
1. Pack Your Data Lightly Before Leaving the Office.
Avoid packing removable media, which might include CDs, DVDs, and flash and other external drives. If you anticipate returning with data from your travels and you must take some sort of removable media, keep it simple, and choose one type of media that you can easily track at all times. If possible, keep it free of information for as long as possible before returning home.
2. Plan for Corporate Espionage.
Depending on your business, and the nature of the project for which you are traveling, your data may be subject to theft from your business’s competition. Work with your IT department to explore “threat modeling” to determine any risk factors, such as who might want to steal your data, why they may want to steal it, and how you can prevent that theft.
3. Do Not Expect Privacy in all Countries.
If your work travels take you abroad, keep in mind that not all countries respect internet users’ privacy in the same way, which makes it nearly impossible to keep your data secure. Some hotels monitor telephone calls and electronic transmissions, so keep sensitive communications—particularly those containing sensitive information and work product—to a minimum until returning home.
4. Swap Your Data-Heavy Laptop for a Minimal Machine.
Similar to minimizing risks with removable media, reduce the risk of exposing the data on your work laptop by taking one specifically for travel that only has the bare minimum of sensitive data on it.
5. Explore Digital Anonymity Tools.
Leave no cyber footprint during your travels by shopping for tools that allow for anonymous internet browsing and encrypted emails.
Planning for work travel is complex, but the peace of mind you feel—knowing you have done everything possible to keep your data secure—is worth all the effort.