Now that we’re living in a largely technological age, most travelers understand the importance of keeping your laptop and personal information safe. You’re more vulnerable to theft when navigating new surroundings, and it’s more common to connect to unsecured WiFi networks when you’re overseas.
But think about the type of information you would lose if you ended up with malware or a virus. Or how this could be used if it fell into the wrong hands. A personal laptop can usually unlock everything from personal information and emergency contacts, to bank passwords and hotel and flight confirmations.
So it’s absolutely essential that you protect your laptop and personal data when you’re traveling overseas. Here’s how.
Physical Protection / Keeping Your Eyes Open
The first step is to physically protect your laptop. Your digital data is safe as long as your laptop is safe, and that latter part is doable with a bit of focus.
Use a secure laptop bag for traveling and keep the bag itself in your visual range at all times. Use a bag that makes it comfortable to carry the laptop everywhere so that you never lose it out of your sight, and have the bag hang in your front rather than in your back.
Review Your Digital Protection
It’s likely that you’ll connect to multiple foreign wifi networks while you’re away. This can be quite a dangerous move if these networks are not secure.
The best course of action is to make sure that your computer is well protected with an antivirus solution. If you don’t have one, there are plenty you can get for a good price, like this panda security discount. You can also use a VPN as described below.
Use a VPN
For those that aren’t really used to the term, a VPN is a service that masks your identity online; a Virtual Private Network which allows you to connect to the internet from a location of your choice, even if you’re on the other side of the world.
This goes down to your very IP, which will be masked so that whoever sees you or your activity will think you are from wherever you say you are.
Thus, you can make it seem like you are just another local browsing the web. Your private information is safest when those that would see it stolen don’t actually know that you are hiding it so it’s important to keep discretion up.
Use Security Features to Prepare Your Laptop for the Worst
Even though the chances that you’ll actually experience a theft might be pretty low (depending on what country you’re visiting), it’s still important to make sure that you’re prepared in case something does happen.
There are software solutions today that allow you to track your device in case of theft through GPS, as well as those which will utilize your laptop’s integrated camera to take pictures if the computer has been stolen and broken into. It will send pictures to the authorities, and if you want, you can even have them sent back to your home designated computer.
Utilizing such features means, in a worst case scenario, you’ll always have the upper hand.
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