Before travelling, you probably prepare a checklist for things you’ll need. You’ve got your passport, suitcase, cell phone—check, check, check. Is cyber security on your list?—probably not. “Whenever you decide to travel, you should absolutely think about cyber security, and implement best practices to protect you and your personal and financial information,” says Raynier Ramasra, CIBC Senior Director, Fraud Risk Management.
The fact is cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated. Education and vigilance are essential if you want to stay protected. Here are some things you can do to be cybersafe while you travel.
Before your trip
There’s lots to do before you travel, but setting up some cyber security before you leave doesn’t need to be difficult. It can be as easy and quick as enabling two-step verification across your accounts, applications (apps), and devices. This is a very common feature found in most reputable apps and services.
Two-step verification works by asking you to prove you are who you say you are before making a sensitive transaction. This verification works by sending a code to your pre-registered contact option, in addition to your password. “It’s a very effective security feature,” says Raynier. “It’s a way to confirm that the person trying to access your information is actually you.” CIBC offers two-step verification for Online and Mobile Banking through a push notification, text message or voice call.
When you prepare, you should also consider some of these tips from a recent Government of Canada1 report:
- Update your anti-virus software.
- Install a firewall on your device.
- Update patches that may be required by your computer operating system and applications.
- Lock your device with a PIN, passphrase, or password.
- Ensure you have all the software and hardware you need so that you don’t have to buy any in another country.
- Never connect an unknown storage device or media to your device(s), including flash drives, external hard drives, MP3 players, DVDs, CDs, etc.
- Disable your Wi-Fi connection when you are not using your device to connect to the Internet.
When travelling, the Government of Canada also stresses the importance of staying aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to people around you, and notice if they’re attempting to look at your phone, tablet or computer screen. Whenever possible, use your personal computer, or a direct-to-wall socket to charge your device(s). Hotel docking stations, for instance, can contain malicious software that can be transmitted to your device.
All in all, it’s important to exercise cyber security due diligence before and during your trip. Hackers are opportunists. Staying vigilant and informed is your best way to keep your data safe and secure. As always, we’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have about accessing CIBC services securely while abroad. We also invite you to visit CIBC’s travel page for more information.