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Our technology inevitably comes with us when we travel. Some people won’t even travel to the end of the block without their smartphones. Whether you travel for work or pleasure, not having your technology there when you need it can ruin your day.

Travel smarter and more securely by doing several checks before you go. Use our handy tech travel checklist below, it can save you from lost devices or a data breach.

 

1. Check Your Apps

Have you ever sat at an airport gate wondering why it looked so empty? You then found out that your gate had changed, and you had no idea. You go rushing to the other end of the concourse, hoping you’re not too late.

How did everyone else know about the gate change? They most likely had the app for the airline and received a notification.

Before you leave for a trip, make sure to download any apps you may need. It’s better to download them when you’re at home on your own Wi-Fi. Waiting until you’re at the airport could cause connectivity or security issues.

Some of the apps you may want to download or update before your trip are:

  • Airline app
  • Train app
  • Hotel app
  • Weather app
  • City tourism app

 

2. Check Your Cords & Adapters

People leave behind countless chargers and adapters every day. They litter airports, restaurants, and train stations around the world.  Make sure to bring a backup charger for your laptop, tablet, or phone. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying a premium price for a new charger in a gift shop. 

 

3. Check Your Power

A great way to ensure you have the power you need is to buy a small portable battery. You can find these in most major retailers or online. They are small “blocks” that hold a charge and can power up a cell phone in a pinch.

Having this extra backup also helps you avoid potential juice-jacking ports. These are fake or compromised public USB charging ports that hackers use them to steal your data when you plug in your device.

 

4. Check Your Mobile Plan

Traveling for work is exciting, but it can also lead to issues connecting with clients. Being away from the office means missed calls an unheard voicemails.

Handing out you personal mobile number may seem like a good solution. However, having clients or coworkers reach you at all hours of the day can blur the line between your professional and personal life. It can also get expensive if you’re on long calls or using your own mobile data.

An alternative is to set up a VoIP app that you can use with your office while you’re traveling. These enable both calls and SMS, but you do need an internet connection.

Interested in learning more about VoIP and the functions it provides? Reach out to Databranch today! Our Rock-It VoIP platform offers flexibility and scalability to accommodate for fluctuations and growth in your business, and we can service locations nationwide. With Rock-IT VoIP, we also port your numbers so they stay the same and handle any upgrades, maintenance, and programming!

 

5. Check or Add a VPN

Free Wi-Fi may be a welcome site when you’re on the road, but it can also be dangerous. You don’t know who else is using that Wi-Fi. A hacker hanging out on the connection can easily steal your data if you’re not protected.

It’s better to use either your mobile carrier connection or a virtual private network (VPN) app. VPN plans are inexpensive and will keep your data encrypted, even if you’re on public Wi-Fi.

Visit our website here to learn more about VPNs and what factors to consider when choosing a plan.

 

6. Check Your Backup

Unfortunately, mishaps occur when traveling. You may leave your phone behind in the airport, have your luggage lost, or get your device stolen while in a crowded area.

10% of all laptop thefts happen in airports.

Don’t lose all your work data with the device! Back up your devices to the cloud or local storage before you travel. This ensures that you won’t lose the valuable information on your device. 

Need help with a Data Backup and Recovery plan for your business? Contact us today or visit our website to learn more.

 

7. Check Your Device Security

Make your devices as secure as possible before you hit the road. When we’re traveling, our minds are occupied by other things. So, you may not think to check your antivirus or avoid suspicious phishing links.

Protect your devices before you go using:

  • Antivirus/anti-malware
  • DNS filtering
  • Screen lock with passcode
  • Sharing features turned off
  • VPN application
  • Find-My-Device feature turned on

 

Improve the Security of Your Devices Now

Don’t leave your company devices unprotected. Contact us today if you want to discuss your cybersecurity in greater detail. We can arrange a quick chat to discussed some options we have available that would help enhance your businesses security. Give us a call at 716-373-4467 x 115 or email us at [email protected] to learn more.

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Smartphones and tablets are often the preferred device for communications, web searching, and accessing many types of apps. They’re more portable and can be used from anywhere.

We’re seeing the takeover of many activities that used to be performed on traditional computers. Now, people are using mobile devices instead.

For example, Microsoft estimates that up to 80% of the workload in many enterprise organizations is now done via mobile devices. Over half of all web searches are also now conducted from a mobile device rather than a desktop PC.

This has caused mobile devices to become more targeted over the past few years. As hackers realize they’re holding many of the same sensitive information and app access as PCs, they’ve been creating mobile malware and other exploits to breach mobile devices.

In 2020, approximately 36.5% of organizations were impacted by mobile malware and 2.5 million people unknowingly downloaded multiple mobile adware apps.

It’s important to start treating mobile devices in the same way as you do computers when it comes to their security. Smartphones and tablets need the same types of security precautions in place, including:

  • Antivirus/anti-malware
  • DNS filtering
  • Automated OS and app updates
  • Managed backup

You need to be on the lookout for the most prevalent mobile device threats that allow your data to be leaked or breached. Here’s a roundup of what those are.

1. Mobile Malware Hidden in Apps

It’s not easy at first glance to tell the difference between a legitimate free app and one that has malware hidden inside.

Scammers will use the same types of flashy graphics, and the app may even have a high star rating (most likely boosted through suspicious means). The app may even do what it says it will do when downloaded.

But malware can be hidden in the background, infecting a device as soon as the app is installed. And many of these apps will hide once on your phone or tablet by using the icon of a common default system app (like settings or calendar).

Mobile malware can include all the same types of malware that can infect a computer, such as ransomware, adware, spyware, trojans, and more.

2. Unprotected Communications

Have you ever sent someone a password or credit card details over a text message or messaging app? Did you check to see if the communication was encrypted?

Many users will use various methods of communication from their mobile devices without knowing how secure those methods are. If sensitive information is transmitted and it’s not encrypted, then a hacker could easily intercept it.

3. Public Wi-Fi and Man-In-The-Middle Attacks

Public Wi-Fi has long been known to be non-secure, yet people still use it when it’s available. They want to save their mobile minutes or get a faster connection.

75% of people admit to connecting to email when on public Wi-Fi. Other activities people will do is sign into apps (even sensitive ones like online banking), and shop online, entering credit card details.

If you’re on public Wi-Fi, then you’re at high risk of a man-in-the-middle attack. This is when a hacker connects to the same network and looks for victims with unprotected communications. They can then capture any type of data they’re transmitting.

One way to safely connect to public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN app, which will encrypt your communications.

4. Juice Jacking on Public USB Charging Stations

Another public mobile breach danger is public USB charging stations. These are often welcome sights especially if you’re low on battery power. However, hackers can infect public USB charging ports with malware and set up fake charging stations in public areas.

Then, when you insert your USB cord to charge your device, the malware is copying all the data on your phone and/or infecting it with malicious code. See, USB cables aren’t just for charging, they are also used for data transmission.

It’s best to avoid public USB charging ports and charge with your power adapter that plugs into an outlet instead. You can also buy a “charge-only” USB cord to use if USB charging is your only option.

5. Non-Updated Devices

Approximately 40% of Android devices are running outdated operating systems that no longer get vital security updates.

When your mobile device is not kept updated, then it’s easier for a hacker to use an exploit that takes advantage of a code vulnerability in the OS or one of the installed apps.

Many companies aren’t paying attention to how many employees’ work devices are running current operating systems, which puts their networks at higher risk of a breach.

You should ensure that all your apps and your OS are kept updated because many of these updates include critical security patches.

ASK US ABOUT MOBILE DEVICE SECURITY SOLUTIONS

With mobile devices handling so much of the computing workload these days, it’s vital they’re properly protected. Contact us today at 716-373-4467 x 15 or [email protected] to discuss mobile security and management solutions. 

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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