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Cyber and information security is vital for any international business traveller. If you are travelling with your mobile, smartphone, laptop or tablet, you will have wide access to company data, and will need to make sure this information is safe. Criminals do not care for any law when looking to steal your data and each country will have its own cyber security laws. You can’t rely on other countries being governed the same way as the UK.

With heightened concerns for countries such as Russia and China, where there is often a lack of security, 2-sec is sharing some of our essential data security tips for business travel.

Cyber security for your laptop and mobile

The risk is not about the cost of replacing the equipment, it is about the potential malicious access of sensitive and confidential data. Risks being faced include criminals accessing your devices through public WiFi and the installation of spyware. Some tips for you to follow are:

  • Ensure you keep your phone or tablet on you, or in sight, at all times.
  • Ensure your phone or tablet  is turned off or locked immediately when you are separated from the devices (e.g. airport security).
  • Fit a high-grade privacy screen to your laptop.
  • Only charge your phone or laptop via trusted power blocks, brought with you from the UK.
  • Only use phones, devices or USB sticks brought with you from the UK.
  • Ensure your laptop is checked over when you arrive back in the UK.

Cyber security – accessing the Internet when abroad

Whilst airports are thought to provide useful internet hotspots, they can be, alongside business hotels, a risk. Some tips for you to follow whilst abroad are:

  • Avoid using any public Wi-Fi, including all hotel, restaurant or conference facility Wi-Fi.
  • Refuse to use any other device offered by your hosts or any other parties. They may not be aware of any compromised devices.
  • Don’t use any ‘in the socket’ USB chargers, as commonly found in hotel rooms.
  • Don’t download any software onto your devices during your visit.

Cyber security – criminal tactics

Some final advice based on known tactics used by criminals abroad:

  • Be especially aware of distraction methods such as the “damsel in distress”, whereby an attractive person asks for your help, or to use your phone (because theirs has been ‘lost’) or for you to accompany them somewhere.
  • Avoid accepting any drinks from unknown contacts.
  • When meeting in upmarket hotel lobbies or reception areas, be aware of being overheard. Listening-from-a-distance equipment is often used to eavesdrop conversations.
  • When meeting in conference rooms, always assume that every microphone, telephone or piece of video-conferencing equipment is recording or listening in.
  • It is possible that listening devices may be left in hotel rooms when you are absent so avoid sensitive conversations in your own hotel room, even when using your own phone.
  • If you receive unusual texts, emails or links whilst abroad, delete them immediately.

If you would like to speak to one of our Cyber Security Consultants about being cyber ready for business travel, please contact us on 020 7877 0060.

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