Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Online safety tips to protect your data while you travel

Written by Fiona

March 20 2024

Before you board a plane and set off to explore a new destination, make sure that your data and digital footprint are safe from hackers. 

Most people don’t know this, but when you travel, you are exposed to cyber risks, from public Wi-Fi networks to hackers trying to get into your accounts. 

Don’t worry, though, because it’s fairly easy to prevent security issues online and once you put a few measures in place, you can enjoy your trip without worries.

Disconnected but still protected 

Imagine that you’re hiking through a remote place, far away from others, without a phone signal. It’s very relaxing, but even offline, you need to protect yourself from cybercriminals. 

So, before you even go out there, make sure to review your passwords and improve them if necessary. Even better, set up your PINs and biometric locks to make sure nobody can get into your accounts. Remember, research revealed that 74% of all reported breaches happened because of human mistakes.

If you like to pay attention to details, you can even encrypt sensitive files on your devices so they are truly inaccessible. 

Keeping your data safe from hackers

Hackers are known for their creativity and their quick and effective attacks. In areas with a lot of tourists, they normally succeed. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks because the lack of security on these ensures that cybercriminals will try to get a hold of your login credentials. 

Instead, try to stick to secure networks and download everything you can to use offline. Make sure to use networks that are password-protected, like in a cafe or even a hotel. Even better, get a Virtual Private Network and encrypt all your online activities. For example, you could get Surfshark on Chrome

Extra tips for safer travelling

Your digital footprint can be hidden effectively if you consider these extra tips: 

1. Set up two-factor authentication (2FA)

Microsoft reports that MFA can prevent 99.9% of automated attacks. Yes, you will need to manually authorize your login attempt, but this means that you’ll get notified if a hacker is trying to get into your account. Even with a weak, easily guessable password, you can prevent cybercriminals from stealing your information by turning on MFA.  

2. Use safe payment methods

When you’re shopping online or even in person, make sure to choose safe payment methods. Cash is always best, but you can use a mobile app if you have data or a credit card. Make sure to leave your debit card as a last choice because the security measures in place for these aren’t as effective. 

3. Keep a backup of your activities and important information

To make this truly effective, you can scan and store digital copies of important documents, like passwords, travel visas, insurance, and even maps and itineraries. You can either keep these in a reliable cloud storage service or go for the safest route and keep both a digital and physical copy at hand. 

Conclusion

As you plan and set off on your next adventure, make sure to keep yourself safe. Nowadays, information can be sold, bought, and consequently stolen. Take proactive measures to avoid being a victim of cyber theft. 

More Like This

Adventure

Six new sports you might like to try

Adventure

Cycling on the Black Isle

Adventure

Cycle Aviemore to Inverness

Adventure

Cruising for the first time: What to expect on board 

Adventure

Road trip essentials: How to pack and prepare for your rooftop tent adventure

Adventure

Beinn Ghobhlach: Fiona bagging on the Scoraig peninsula