While the summer travel season is long gone, Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays are fast approaching so there’s no better time to update your travel checklist with these 4 to do’s before and during your trip. Also if you’re looking for our favorite travel gadget gift ideas for the traveler in your family (or yourself), have a look at Best Travel Gadgets of 2017 & IT Security on the Road.  “Cabin crew, please take your seats for take-off.”

1. Set up VPNs

In addition to data theft from thieves on the go, we also recommend using a VPN when working from laptops, especially while abroad. As previously stated on our previous blog, there is always a very real threat when using public wifi, especially abroad. Shared wifi at places such as hotels can be just as dangerous as most hotels have multiple guests connecting, weak password protection, and unencrypted connections. Setting up a VPN or two on your internet connected devices can help protect you from cyber criminals looking to steal passwords, financial information, and more.

In addition to security, VPNs also allow you the ability to access sites that may be blocked by the country you are currently visiting. Some countries block websites vital not only to business such as Gmail, but leisure websites like Netflix and Facebook. By using a VPN hosted in a country that does not restrict these websites, you don’t limit your browsing ability, even when you’re away from home.

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2. Backup Data Before You Go

Even if your trip is short, it’s always important to backup those important files before taking off. Laptops are at risk of being damaged, stolen, or even taken for screening by TSA! The last thing you want is to lose your hard work.

Jones IT specializes in data backup as well as recovery, and recommends taking advantage of these services in advance. If your company has an internal procedure for backing up data, take advantage of it. If you are an individual just looking to keep photos, videos, and other data safe, we recommend an external hard drive or backing up files through a cloud based storage service (e.g. Dropbox or Google Drive) to store copies of those files and keep them at home. As a bonus move, we also recommend you consider doing some maintenance on your laptop before your trip. Check out our previous blogs on Macs and PCs.  

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3. Password Protect Your Accounts and Devices

This is probably the easiest way to keep yourself protected, not only abroad, but during your everyday life! Adding a password, lock code, or fingerprint to your device and accounts takes just a few seconds, but ensures that even if your device is lost or stolen, your data is safe.

We recommend using a password manager such as LastPass with Google Authenticator since memorizing passwords for all your business, personal, and social apps can be rather taxing. Check out the embedded LastPass video for a 20 minute tutorial. You won't regret taking the time to set this up. 

If possible, add two factor authentication to accounts when prompted. The 2FA/T-FA (two factor authentication) is a great tool that provides this layered security. Should your password be compromised, this adds an additional layer of security that makes it even more challenging for individuals who may want to steal your data. Because 2FA requires accounts to add a randomly generated security code when signing in on new devices or from different IP addresses, not only will you be alerted should someone unauthorized attempt to log in, but you can rest easy knowing they do not have access to these codes.

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4. Delete Apps & Disable Cellular Data

Before you embark on your journey, remove any apps you no longer using or disable any cellular connections from them. Create a list or take notes of apps you no longer use and will not need prior to your travel date. Many apps that have cellular connections enabled will run in the background without you even needing to open them. This has the potential to connect you to vulnerable access points such as public wifi. If you no longer need the app, delete it. If you need the app, but do not need it for the trip, turn off its cellular connection in your phone’s settings. Doing so will reduce the amount of connections and potential access points for thieves while abroad.

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“Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned off the Fasten Seat Belt sign, and you may now move around the cabin.” We hope our blogs help you prepare for your next trip. Drop us a comment about your favorite travel technology tips.

Still have question about protecting company data on the road, backups, password managers, two-factor authentication, VPNs, or public WiFi?  We offer IT Security & Data Backup Plans to protect your company's data and coach staff at home and on the road. Get in touch with Jones IT today!

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