What to consider when working remotely and abroad?
Working remotely can be great, whether you do so as a freelancer for many clients, or your job allows you the flexibility to work from anywhere, the time and money you save from not having to commute can be wonderful, not to mention being able to go about your day’s tasks while still in your pj’s. However, whatever your situation, working remotely will nearly always require some travelling.
Our identities and data are at their most vulnerable when we take them on the road. Whether you’re travelling the world or hopping on a train for a couple of hours, there is plenty you can do to minimise the risk. Below are some of our top tips for those who need to travel when they work.
Beware of public Wi-Fi connections
Most of us feel lost these days when we’re not connected. This means that a restaurant, airport, or hotel offering free Wi-Fi can feel like a blessing. However, even if the connection requires a password, you can bet it’s not very difficult to get hold of. A nefarious character with the right tools can easily view your data when connected to the same network, opening you up to a whole host of potential threats.
If you must connect to public networks, then using a VPN can help to mitigate some of the risk. There are many free and paid ones available. If you have access to mobile data on one of your personal devices, and it’s cheap enough, this is always a better option. You can even use your phone to create a hotspot for bigger devices.
Stick to your own devices
Whether it’s in the foyer of a hotel or an Internet café, public computers are never a good idea. The security updates are rarely maintained, especially if it’s an Internet café with lots of computers. People use the computers for a variety of reasons, and in a fairly short space of time all sorts of software can make its way on to these machines. Bad actors can easily install key logging software, which lets them scan the data at a later date searching for user names and passwords.
If you must use a public computer to print something out, don’t log in to your e-mail from it. You can log in on your own device and save it to a secure USB stick beforehand. You can also use the USB to store any data or software that is also essential to your trip.
Don’t put off backing up
Losing your phone or breaking a laptop or tablet is bad enough when you’re at home, but when you’re travelling it can be catastrophic. Even if you don’t fancy carrying around an external hard drive, or paying for a huge amount of cloud storage, simply making regular backups of the files and contacts you need for your current trip could save you a huge headache later on, and they can usually be stored on something as small as a secure USB drive. But, as explained by USBMakers.com, “More than 20 million USB drives are lost or stolen each year, which can cause major security breaches if the data held on them…”, which is why it’s important to utilize encryption.
If you use a device to open and send data, where you can enable encryption, then turn it on. Even if the worst happens and something is stolen, at least you’ll know your data is protected.
Whatever your situation, a little preparation can go a long way to ensuring your data remains secure and protected while travelling. Most data security processes only take a couple of clicks, and can save you a whole lot of time, hassle, and possibly even money.