Information Technology Services (ITS)

Guard Your Privacy When Offline or Traveling

Published on: October 12, 2016

Planning a vacation? People are frequently more vulnerable when traveling because a break from their regular routine or encounters with unfamiliar situations often result in less cautious behaviour. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, these five tips will help you protect yourself and guard your privacy.

  • Track that device! Install or activate the native device finder or manager on your mobile device in case it’s lost or stolen. Make sure it has remote wipe capabilities and also protects against malware.
  • Avoid social media announcements about your travel plans. It’s tempting to share your upcoming vacation plans with family and friends, but consider how this might make you an easy target for local or online thieves. While traveling, avoid using social media to “check in” to airports and consider posting those beautiful photos after you return home.
  • Traveling soon? If you’re traveling with a laptop or mobile device, remove or encrypt confidential information. Consider using a laptop or device designated for travel with no personal information, especially when traveling out of the country.
  • Limit personal information stored on devices. Locate your personally identifiable information (e.g., SIN, credit card numbers, or bank accounts) on your computer, then secure or remove that information before travelling.
  • Physically protect yourself and your devices. Use a laptop lock, avoid carrying identification cards, shred sensitive paperwork before you recycle it, and watch out for “shoulder surfers” in busy location.
  • BONUS Pro-Tip: If you are travelling to a country with restricted personal freedom laws, you can obtain an emergency ‘burner’ phone for your trip. The purpose of this phone is to provide you with basic calling capability without having to bring your own device. These phones can be rented for the purpose of the trip and returned at the end.

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