5 Essential Cybersecurity Tips for Safe Holiday Travel

The excitement of upcoming holiday travels can sometimes overshadow concerns about cybersecurity. As Filipinos gear up for their much-awaited trips, it’s crucial to ensure that your travel experiences remain memorable for all the right reasons. Cybersecurity threats lurk in various forms, especially when we step out of our familiar surroundings.

“Right now, people are already aware of different types of online scams and data breaches. So, it’s understandable that some travelers would feel a certain level of anxiety when traveling. Outside the convenience and security of our homes, especially when we travel out of town or overseas, threats increase significantly. The environment changes drastically and presents unknown circumstances so this situation calls for a heightened sense of cyber security awareness and proactive practice of cyber hygiene on the part of the traveler,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

A recent study has shown that 66% of Filipinos are eager to travel with their families, suggesting that they intend to create special memories through travel. The local airport authority expects the holiday to draw at least 125,000 travelers per day starting mid-December 2023 until early January 2024.

“With loved ones in tow, Filipino travelers would definitely wish for nothing but happy and successful trips. Planning travels for months far in advance explains that. During travel though, it’s inevitable to potentially run into issues like having a patchy phone or internet connection to immediately access services or help if needed. And this may prompt one to just connect to what’s readily available but not exactly secure. That’s why we keep on repeatedly reminding people about adopting cyber hygiene—even the basics and most common steps because they may not appear obvious and take a lot of practice until they develop into a habit. With the list below, I hope the Filipino travelers’ anxiety would be eased and they can fully enjoy their trips this holiday season,” adds Yeo.

To help safeguard your digital well-being while you’re away from home, here are five essential cybersecurity tips:

1. Guard Your Belongings and Devices

From bustling airports to cozy cafes, never leave your belongings unattended. Ensure that your devices, including laptops and smartphones, are always within your reach. Activate password protection and lock your devices when not in use to prevent unauthorized access.

2. Implement Device Encryption

Even when your devices are physically with you, encrypting your data adds an extra layer of security. Encryption scrambles your data, making it unreadable to unauthorized users. Check if your devices have default encryption settings or learn how to enable encryption for added protection.

3. Secure Connectivity on Public Wi-Fi

When using public Wi-Fi, which might be unavoidable during travels, prioritize online safety. Utilize a reliable security protection service like Kaspersky Premium to encrypt your browsing activities, especially during sensitive transactions like online payments or file storage.

4. Detect and Counter Hidden Surveillance

Concerns about hidden cameras or bugs in accommodations are valid. Investing in simple, affordable tools like radio frequency scanners can help detect potential surveillance devices. Additionally, using infrared detection on your phone can spot cameras emitting infrared signals.

5. Prefer Wired Peripherals

Avoid using unfamiliar or public computers, and if possible, rely on your own devices. Opt for wired peripherals like keyboards and mice, as wireless ones might be susceptible to interception or manipulation by unauthorized entities.

Ensuring cybersecurity during travels involves a mix of vigilance and proactive measures. By adopting these tips, you can minimize potential risks and enjoy a secure and fulfilling holiday experience.

Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing practice. Stay informed, remain cautious, and prioritize your digital safety while creating treasured holiday memories with your loved ones.