4 Cybersecurity Tips for Travel Bloggers
Maintaining a travel blog is an excellent way to see the world, earn some money, and get a change of scenery all at the same time. It’s rewarding to have the freedom to go anywhere in the world and share your adventures with an audience.
Although there’s plenty of fun involved when you start a travel blog, you still need to pay attention to cybersecurity. Since you’re traveling so often, you’re more at risk than if you were just using your Wi-Fi at home.
It’s essential to take some extra steps to stay secure when using public Wi-Fi networks as you travel; it only takes one mistake to get your private data stolen.
Table of contents
Do you have a cybersecurity plan? If not, here’s how to get secure.
1. Only use secure cloud storage
If you’re like most travel bloggers, you’re using a laptop to create and publish your content. Laptops and external hard drives are excellent, but it’s much easier to access your files from a cloud storage account.
With that said, if you’re using cloud storage, use a secure cloud storage platform. For instance, when you get an account with Box, your data is highly secure and even encrypted. Encrypted data is the ultimate security measure because even if your data gets stolen, it can’t be read.
Before using platforms to store your files, make sure they take security seriously. Once your files are on someone else’s server, security is out of your control. If you use an unsecure platform that ends up getting hacked, your personal data could end up in the wrong hands and you might become a victim of identity theft. Always prioritize security – your blog depends on it.
2. Encrypt your hard drive
It would be a terrible thing to lose your laptop – or have it stolen – while you’re traveling. It’s hard enough to manage your day in unfamiliar territory. Imagine trying to coordinate filing a police report while keeping an eye out for your stolen laptop on classified ad sites and out in public.
If your laptop gets lost or stolen while you’re traveling, your biggest concern will be your personal files and all of your saved passwords in your browser. If your laptop is accessible to anyone without a password, your files are at risk. Your files are also at risk even if your computer is password-protected.
A password isn’t enough to protect your laptop files
Although having a password on your computer will deter some cybercriminals, it won’t deter them all. That’s because on some laptops, a password only protects your computer through the operating system and not your hard drive. A hacker can remove your hard drive and transfer the data to another drive, bypassing your password entirely. Some laptops transfer the OS password to the hard drive, but not all.
The only way to avoid this situation is to encrypt your hard drive. Only you will have the passcode to your hard drive this way. You can get reliable encryption software for free, and newer Microsoft operating systems come with BitLocker already installed.
3. Use your private hot spot whenever possible
One of the biggest dangers of using unsecured, public Wi-Fi is the potential that you might log into a hacker’s decoy network instead. Hackers often broadcast their own Wi-Fi network with a name identical to the legitimate public Wi-Fi spot in order to capture traffic and gain access to people’s devices. For instance, if you’re at Starbucks, you might see two Starbucks Wi-Fi hotspots with identical names, and one might be a decoy network.
To avoid this issue, try to use your own private hot spot whenever possible. You can use your phone as a hotspot or you can get a dedicated hotspot with a separate plan. Both are legitimate options, depending on the plan you need and your budget.
4. Don’t use anyone’s USB drives
USB drives are notorious for being loaded with malware that can infect your device. To protect yourself, never put anyone else’s USB drive into your computer. If you haven’t had a USB drive in your possession from the time it was purchased, don’t plug it into your computer.
Someone might ask you if you can open a file for them or help them email something to a friend or boss. It’s possible that a request like this might be legitimate, but it’s not worth the risk. Politely decline and let the person know it’s not personal, it’s just a security risk.
One security incident could disrupt your ability to run your blog, so it’s critical to prioritize cybersecurity. Start by following public Wi-Fi best practices and choosing secure cloud storage.
By following the tips in this article, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of experiencing a security incident.
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