September 02, 2014 by Carsen
Traveling can be exciting, sometimes relaxing, and many times unfamiliar. These are all reasons someone may let his or her guard down and fall victim to theft or loss of personal and professional information. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, there are some things you should keep in mind to stay protected.
I have traveled to over 25 countries and I can attest to feeling unorganized, scattered and rushed many times, but I always have to be aware of my surroundings and ensure I am maintaining security best practices for personal and organizational protection. Here are some of my tips for maintaining information security when traveling.
- As stated above, always beware of your surroundings, during security check, as you leave the plane, as you get transportation to and from the airport, etc.
- Never leave baggage unattended. This sounds silly, yet I have personally witnessed people walking up to strangers, and asking them to keep an eye on their items while they run to the restroom, or I have seen people just leave their items while they run to the snack bar a few feet away. It doesn’t take long for someone to sneak over and snatch up your items.
- Avoid run-on, loud, phone conversations. These conversations aren’t only annoying to those around you but also it isn’t secure to loudly discuss a client issue or professional situation when others are able to hear what is going on. In addition, for personal security, it isn’t safe to discuss where you’re going, where you’re staying, etc for all to hear.
- Keep an eye on your items as they go through the security check. I witnessed someone leaving an iPad once she went through the checkpoint (the security guard did track her down), and I also witnessed a lady lose her necklace. Make sure you put items in proper bins and gather all your items as they go through.
- Keep your devices locked, password protected and in a secure location at all times. Whether tablets, phones, laptops, be sure to keep these items on you, locked and secured at all times.
- Always keep your passport and other identification documents locked and on you at all times.
- Never hand over documents without proper approval and insurance of return.
- Always lock hotel rooms when in and outside of the rooms. Many European hotels do not have automatic door locks, so beware of this.
- Keep a copy of your identification documents with you.
- If you are traveling on business, make sure you are only transporting approved documents and information.
- Always verify reasons for personal information. Many times, hotels, transportation, tour groups, and conferences request personal information for sign-up, but limit what you provide to what is absolutely required. If they are asking for an identification number, such as a social security number or passport number, many times this is not required so ask before you provide.
These are just my security highlights, but it is vital you do thorough research of the area you are traveling to, any local laws and requirements and understand what you should/should not bring with you.
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