Online Security Considerations when Traveling

Whenever my friends or family members tell me they’ll be travelling abroad, I always like to remind them not to overlook online security when it comes to their website or blog, especially if accessing their accounts from an unknown computer. No doubt, most travelers will, at some point in their journeys, use email, manage their websites or related social media and even do online shopping and banking. In many case, they’ll do these things in random coffee shops, hotels and the like using completely untrusted – and likely compromised – computers.

If you plan to manage your website or perform other online account activity while traveling, you need to consider changing of all your online account passwords to something odd and different from what you’d use at home. Better yet, setup temporary login accounts for WordPress, email and so on that you use only while out of the country. I gave this recommendation to a neighbor recently and she gave me nothing but a blank stare. I don’t know if it was because she was leaving the next morning and didn’t have time to think about it all or she just thought I was crazy. Either way, if she didn’t take any action she’d be putting her sensitive accounts at risk.

Let me be clear, when you use online accounts on any untrusted computer (cafe, hotel, library, wherever) you risk having everything compromised. It’s just too easy for someone to setup a keylogger, sniff data over a wireless network, or have control of an unsecured and under managed computer to risk your sensitive information on. I don’t do it and you should consider shying away from it as well. It really should be an online security policy that you adhere to no matter what. There’s just too much to lose – especially if your Web presence is at stake.

Having this in mind, remember  to add on your list these online security measures in order to keep your personal and business information safe when traveling for fun or business. By doing this, you can have peace of mind that you have a secure website.

Don’t get caught off guard!

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  • What should I do if my account compromized when I’m on travelling and still haven’t back to my own house?

    • Hi Jean,

      Good question.

      I would recommend contacting the provider of the account and telling them about the incident, depending on what type of account it is. Having said that, it is always recommended to find an internet connection you trust, and reset the password.

  • I would suggest you to avoid trying to manage your weblogs and other sensitive logins at public places where you have least internet security. If you are going to go through unsecured locations be warned!

  • Purchase and install a VPN. I am on the road as an international airline captain about 16 days per month. Even using my own laptop linked to a WEP-enabled hotel IP, there have several near, and not-so-near misses on some of my data being captured.

    A secure tunneled VPN link, when allowed, provides greater security. Also, Dubai disallows Skype – VPN is a work-around. Facebook is not reachable from China in some places, VPN solves that issue.

    Be careful and stealthy.

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