By Tara Drosset
We know it’s not an option to leave your trusty electronics at home while you’re on your traveling assignment, but traveling with laptops, smartphones, and tablets can make us significantly more vulnerable to hackers! Before you reach for your phone or laptop at the airport, there are some digital security tips you can keep in your back pocket that can help keep you and your private information digitally secure.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity
As busy traveling nurses, Bluetooth and USB ports in rental cars, airports, or hotel rooms have become a convenience we expect to see in any modern establishment. But before you connect your smartphone or tablet, consider what you’re connecting to!
- Keep your Bluetooth and auto-connect turned OFF when traveling. Yes, these features are useful for device-free driving or to pick up where you left off in a captivating podcast, but they really can create some digital headaches for you while on the road. One 2021 security report found that a rental car company could recover 70 phones still connected to the car’s smart dashboard. They could easily see call logs, contacts, text messages, music history, and even Facebook and Twitter activity. You never know how long your connectivity history stays visible after you’ve left, so keep that in mind the next time you connect!
- Be wary of public wi-fi. We’re not saying not to use it! Instead, opt for mobile hotspot services or a secure network when you can. If you must use public wi-fi, avoid connecting to anything when you’re looking at financial statements or sensitive data. It’s super helpful to have all your credit card info saved for your favorite online stores, but it really does put you at risk!
Locks, Passwords, and Browsers
There are a lot of helpful cybersecurity travel tips out there to help you protect your sensitive information while on a traveling assignment. But routine, basic-level protection starts with how you lock your devices and create or store passwords.
- Always, always, always enable two-factor authentication or biometrics. These extra security measures are like bodyguards for your personal devices. Think about what authentication combination works best for you and your lifestyle. Whether it’s a fingerprint scan, security questions, or PIN, you want to make sure logging into your devices is convenient for you and no one else.
- Create long passwords and change them regularly. It’s absolutely a pain to keep up with long, ever-changing passwords, but it’s so important! As you travel from assignment to assignment, you sign in to apps and websites from so many places. Whether it’s your bank info or your Netflix account, it only takes forgetting to sign out one time before someone with malicious intent can see your private info. To keep them all straight, it might help to look into a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. They have apps you can download to keep each device organized and protected.
- Make sure your browser says HTTPS before you reach for that credit card. The “S” at the end of HTTP stands for “Secure” and helps encrypt the transfer of sensitive information against hackers. The next time you’re online shopping or paying an online bill, make sure you’re secure with HTTPS. You can check that your website is secure by the “S” after HTTP or the little closed lock symbol in your web address bar.
Protect Yourself and Your Devices on Your Next Travel Nurse Assignment.
The more our technology improves, the more training and awareness we need to keep up with potential digital threats. But don’t worry, as you travel from assignment to assignment, your digital street smarts will only get stronger. It’s a lot of information to keep top of mind while on the go, but just remember to keep an eye out for the warning signs, trust your gut, and avoid suspicious activity when your internal red flag pops up.
As always, contact your Aureus recruiter or get in contact with one today for any help you need when traveling to your next new assignment. And stay digitally safe!