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Cybersecurity Essentials for Global Travelers

How to keep your electronic devices safe while traveling.

Laptop on beach

It is always exciting to know new places and cultures, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure. 

It is normal for tourists and foreigners to not be into new destinations’ peculiarities and traditions; this is why, they’re usually the best target for hackers. 

When traveling internationally, remember that your mobile phone and other personal devices store and use your personal information. 

Most travelers are very naive about cybersecurity when traveling, 70% of them engage in high-risk behaviors. You could never be too precautious, the last thing you want is for your personal information to be stolen while you’re away from home. 

Assure yourself to be fully educated about the best tools and safety tips before you head to the airport and start your trip. 

Before Traveling: Prepare Your Devices 

It is important to take some time to secure devices before heading out. 

  • Update Software: All devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) should run the latest software versions of all your most-used apps. This is something very easy to do, and it won’t take much time, these updates usually include small security patches that will instantly be updated with the app. 
  • Install Security Software: It’s never a bad idea to install a good antivirus on your devices. These programs can effectively detect any suspicious activity before it compromises your private data.
  • Install a Tracking App: You should also consider the risks of data leaks by physically losing your devices. These kinds of accidents could happen to any tourist, traveling could be stressful and it is hard to keep track of everything we must carry on. Installing a tracking app is a lifesaver when unlucky situations happen. 
  • Backup Your Data: Back up all your important files and documents, use a cloud storage service or an external memory for this. It could also be a very helpful measure in the case of loss or stolen devices. 

When Traveling: Protect Your Data

Business traveler with laptop and bag

Keep these cybersecurity tips in mind once you are at the new location:

  • Don’t Trust Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks, the ones we commonly use in cafes, airports, and hotels, are helpful but sometimes vulnerable. If possible, avoid accessing sensitive information, such as online banking or social security information, while connected to an unknown public Wi-Fi.
  • Get a VPN: Sometimes, you won’t have a choice and will connect to public and unknown internet networks. 42% of travelers admitted to having connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi network while traveling. Because of this, it is important to have a Virtual Private Network. VPNs encrypt internet connections, making it harder for hackers to corrupt your data. This is perfect when traveling internationally to new places where you are not sure about safety. Consider using a reputable VPN like surfshark.com to protect your online activities while traveling.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Add extra security to your online accounts by activating a two-factor authentication. This can be easily done on all your app settings apart. This feature means you provide a second verification, such as an extra code, when logging in.
  • Use a Password Manager: Nothing could be more tedious than going through “I forgot my password” routines when vacationing. You can avoid this by using a password manager, many operating system companies offer this service for free. It could also lead to dangerous situations or blocked apps that as a traveler you will for sure want to avoid.
  • Careful With What You Post on Social Media: Try not to announce that you’re absent to many people on social media. It’s a good practice to keep followers and friends in small numbers and be cautious when sharing stuff. The best practice is to wait until you are back to share pics, but we know this is hard

After Traveling: Back to the routine

It is recommended to reset your credentials after the trip. You will never know if they’d been compromised and now that you are back home, you can use your trusted connection and computers. 

Even domestic internet connections can be hacked, so It is always a good idea to have a VPN at home too. 


It is always better to stay safe than sorry, so keep our tips in mind when traveling abroad. Don’t take your data and security for granted and stay up to date to prevent any difficult times. 

Remember to update your software, avoid risky Wi-Fi networks, and consider using tools like VPNs and password managers to enhance your security. 

You should be good and enjoy your trip if you follow this easy and useful advice. 


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Filed under: Travel Guide

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has written 1073 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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