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Computing safely while travelling overseas

11/07/14

Computing safely while travelling overseas

Permalink 07:58:00 pm by Eugene Gardner, Categories: Security

To avoid having your internet access restricted by protective mail servers and service providers, and also avoid the thieves and cyber scoundrels that are ever present but all the more difficult to handle when travelling, follow these suggestions.

Enable two factor authentication and test it on all web facing applications on all devices at least a week before you set out. See my earlier post on this.

Don't do anything on public Wi-Fi that you wouldn't want posted on a roadside billboard. Sometimes that's not an option though so install a virtual private network that will create an encrypted tunnel to your home provider. My favourite ishttp://www.cyberghostvpn.combut others such ashttps://www.privateinternetaccess.comare sound.

Assume your device (phone, tablet, laptop...) will be stolen. Encrypt the entire disk with BitLocker or https://diskcryptor.net if running Windows or FileVault for OS X or LUKS for Linux distros. Android and IOS have similar apps. Install Prey before you leave and test it. Confirm that your insurance is adequate.

Remember to pack a Kensington lock to physically tie down your device and install Preyor Find My Mac to enable you to alarm, lock, destroy, photo the thief, or use GPS tracking.

General good practices such as logging out of each service before closing the window and using unique strong passwords should be part of SOPs but are especially necessary when on the move.

Similarly, shelter your screen and keyboard from overlookers both in person and via CCTV. And it should go without saying that a paid for updated firewall and virus protection suite are essential.

If using Gmail consider installing the free offline extension as a Wi-fi signal may not always be present and anyway, the format is better in this author's opinion.

Finally, social networks are fun but if you post a picture from overseas you may as well broadcast to local villians that you are not at home. Be circumspect with the information you publish. Even photos without identifyable surroundings may contain Exif geolocation data to locate where they were taken.

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