The Connection Home: Secure Communication Strategies for the Business Traveler
You've arrived. You've checked in, unpacked, and memorized your itinerary. Now you've got a window of time. What's next? For many business travelers, the answer is: call home. Being able to securely communicate with those back home is essential to many business travelers' mental health and well-being. With more communication streams available than ever before—video, instant message, email, text, social media— touching base with friends and family while away on business has never been easier. The downside is that cybercriminals now also have more tools and avenues than ever to turn your business trip into a nightmare. With an unprecedented number of sophisticated cyber threats predicted for this year, it's crucial for travelers to stay as cyber aware as possible.
Here are a few strategies for business travelers who communicate on-the-clock, and off:
Laptops, phones, and other devices abroad have become increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hackers can switch Wi-Fi users from "safe" networks to compromised networks without the knowledge of the user.
Using personal Wi-Fi hotspots is also a risk if these hotspots lack WPA or WPA2 protection. Without safeguards, hackers can hijack a Wi-Fi hotspot session and log into an employee laptop to impersonate that employee, scam contacts, steal login passwords, and enter sites storing personal or company financial information. Big problem!
Employees can also protect themselves by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and following their company's tips and protocols.
Communicate with Secure Messaging Apps
Secure messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, and Wickr Me let you safely send and receive encrypted messages. Communicating via a secure messaging app is much safer than regular SMS messaging, and it lets you communicate across the globe. Each app is a little different. For example, Wickr Me deletes messages after they are read and/or received. So before traveling, download the one that flexes with your needs and is consistent with your company's security policy.
Increase Situational Awareness
Understand when and where is a good time to send a personal email, message, or video call. If communicating verbally in public on your device, don't broadcast your itinerary, locations of business-related events, where you are staying, or your company's agenda. Beware of communicating in crowded spaces and when using transportation, if for no other reason than because flaunting your valuable electronic device puts you at risk and increases your likelihood of being the victim of theft—both cyber and physical.
Restrict Social Media Visibility
Oversharing on social media can put your home, office, property, corporate data systems, and loved ones at risk. Here are some good tips for social media use while on the road:
- Communicate through social media via private messages, chat, and mail
- Share your itinerary, flight information, and agenda with your family before you leave home
- Because posting public photos can announce to criminals and cybercriminals your exact location, wait until you get home to update your social media and share with your friends and loved ones.
Make sure your employees have the right tools to stay safe wherever they travel. NC4 Risk Center™ is a solution that provides relevant global security and travel intelligence, analysis, traveler tracking, and real-time threat alerting. From travel risk management to company-wide communication, having a world-class risk visibility platform goes a long way. For more information, contact us today at 877-624-4999, or feel free to email us anytime at info@NC4.com.
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