Quick Tips for Data Security when Traveling Abroad for the Holidays

Commercial Airliner
Commercial Airliner on the Sky. Dark Blue Cloudy Sky with Commercial Airliner (Real Sky with 3D Airliner Model Render) Illustration.

Traveling anywhere during the busy holiday season can be a risky undertaking, especially if you’re jockeying through disorienting airports populated by hundreds of strangers, most of whom are focused on anything but their personal data security. This risk is only compounded when traveling overseas, as the already foreign experience of being in an airport becomes all the more so when language barriers and cultural differences come into play.

When there is already so much to worry about during the holiday season, don’t let personal data theft be the factor that ruins your trip – after all, that’s your family’s job (wink, nod)! Here’s a useful checklist of things that you can do before flying abroad this December that will allow you to focus on what’s important – getting your family through a stressful trip in one piece.

  1. Limit the number of devices you bring with you as much as possible. Now that we live in an era with cloud platforms like the Fasetto app, there’s no need for travelers to haul CDs, DVDs and thumb drives with them through security checkpoints. Fasetto offers a secure cloud platform that only individuals with the app can access, which is great for long family trips.
  2. If you are bringing business with you on your trip, first reconsider: The point of the season is to enjoy your loved ones, not check your work emails. However, if you – like so many – are required to stay at least somewhat connected to the office during time off, look into using a “loaner” device to stay in touch rather than the one you normally use for work. This way you can better ensure that important information you may have saved on your hard drive doesn’t cross the border with you, making it less likely that sensitive information gets compromised if the device is lost or stolen.
  3. If you still feel the need to bring personal devices along for the trip, perform a complete backup either to a secure cloud service or, if you’re using your company’s device, a corporate server. If you are using a laptop, consider full-disk encryption as well, even if you’ve saved all of your documents elsewhere and cleaned your drive before travel.
  4. Don’t go into a strange land as a stranger. Utilize the US. State Department website to prepare and familiarize yourself with:
    1. Export control laws concerning sensitive equipment, software and technology
    2. Whether or not your security testing or encryption tools are legal in this country
    3. General information regarding customs

This way, you won’t accidentally bring something illegal along.

While no one deserves a stressful holiday season, data protection is at least one factor you can exert some control over before visiting loved ones abroad.

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