I travel a lot and it seems like this fall I've been on the road almost every week for one thing or another. Heck, I was in the Caribbean last month but unfortunately, I still had to work. That means bringing with me a bunch of gear including my laptop so I thought I might share some tips with you about how I manage to travel safe - while still working.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This is really key since no matter what else you do to protect yourself it all comes down to being "aware". For instance - don't face the wall if you are working at a restaurant while eating a sandwich. Instead, I prefer to face the door with my back to the wall. This reduces the chance that someone might look over my shoulder but it also allows me to glance up to see if anyone might be coming towards me.
Make Sure You Have Your Firewall On
When people think about "hacking" they usually think about someone sitting behind a keyboard cracking passwords and doing all sorts of nerdy stuff. That's still true today though there are more threats such as visual hacking to worry about. Luckily most operating systems have built-in firewalls these days. Just make sure you use it. This is especially true when traveling because you never know who might be connected to the same wifi access point at a hotel or restaurant.
Accessorize to Prevent Visual Hacking
Unfortunately, one of the easiest and fastest-growing forms of hacking is visual hacking. It sounds all complex but it's really simple and can happen inadvertently too. Here's a photo from my flight last week - I wasn't "intending" to snoop on this guy but sometimes you simply can't help it. However, if he had been using a 3M Privacy Shield then I wouldn't have been able to see anything except the shiny reflective surface.
Don't Leave Your Stuff Unattended
You'd be amazed by how many people leave their bags at a table when they get up to grab a refill of their water or an extra napkin. While it might not be feasible to take everything with you when you just need to jump up for something you can at least lock the screen.
Check What Wifi Hotspot You Are Connected To
Like I mentioned before - you never know who is connected to the same access point, but even more than that you should make sure to check where you are connected. For instance, I've noticed sometimes when I check into a hotel that there may be "hotelname-guest" and then "hotelname-welcome". Sometimes one of these two is actually a fake hotspot designed to steal your passwords and information. Just make sure you know where you are connecting and what's the right one to use.
Overall, I've been lucky and the 3M Privacy Shield is a great asset to help make me more comfortable when traveling. You can't always be 100% safe so it's a great extra level of security.
Bonus Tips For Social Media Influencers Who Travel
While our tips above are good for pretty much everyone, there are some special cases for social media influencers. We've listed a couple as examples but take a look at how you use technology on the road and consider ways to incorporate these into your life too.
Pay Attention To Ad Campaigns You Have Running - traveling can be distracting and that means that you might not be checking your ad campaigns as often as possible. This can result in significant overspend if something changes suddenly in the campaign. Or if you are doing something else such as buying likes on Instagram or plays on Spotify you might even overbuy and that could look bad as well.
Always Backup Your Passwords Somewhere Accessible - while you don't want to write down your passwords somewhere that is easy to access for others, it might be a good idea to have a backup source for passwords to various tools and services that you use. I sometimes find that I forget that they even exist since on my desktop, windows saves them automatically. However, when on my laptop that I use for travel it might not be configured. Tools such as Keeper and LastPass are great options here to help you manage your password collection too.
No matter what your business is, you'll want to take the necessary steps to stay safe while traveling.