Six Cyber Security Tips for Digital Nomads.As a digital nomad, you gain a sense of freedom in your work life. But there are risks associated with working online, especially when you’re constantly on the move. Protecting yourself online is critical to continuing to work on the go.In this article, we’ll share six top cybersecurity tips that digital nomads can use to stay safe and protect their privacy online.
The Risks of Working While Traveling
Before we dive into our cybersecurity best practices, it’s important to know what risks you face as a digital nomad.Unfortunately, teleworking and working from home come with additional risks and security issues that most people don’t consider before getting started.For example, digital nomads rely on their own equipment, often require public Wi-Fi to access the Internet, and are constantly confronted with unexpected events beyond their control.Some common risks affecting digital nomads include:
- Insecure personal devices
- Phishing of personal and financial information
- Public Wi-Fi hackers
- Sharing files without encryption
By addressing these risks proactively, you can be confident that you can stay safe on the road and keep working while traveling the world.Here are our top 6 tips to help improve your online security and privacy when working remotely:
1. Protect Your Internet Connection
Your internet connection is your lifeblood while you work on the go. Without it, you won’t be able to send emails, explore the details of your work, or access important cloud documents. However, it is also the easiest access point for cybercriminals. To stay safe, you must make sure your internet connection is secure.Here are a few things you can do to keep your internet connection as secure as possible:
- Use Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN masks your connection and encrypts all the data you send and receive. This makes it harder for hackers to intercept your data, hides your identity from potential stalkers, and increases your overall security.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi networks. Public networks are often not secure. Hackers can create fake Wi-Fi names to lure you into connecting or install ransomware attacks on unsecured networks. Through these methods, they can gain access to your devices or install malware on them by holding a ransom. If you need to use a public Wi-Fi network, use a VPN to mask your connection.
- Secure your personal Wi-Fi. If you’re using a personal Wi-Fi router or smartphone tethering, make sure your password is brute force so others can’t intercept your connection.
With your internet secure, it’s time to move on to your devices.
2. Secure Your Devices and Online Accounts
Aside from your internet connection, the most important thing you have as a digital nomad is a laptop and a personal mobile device that you use to work. One of the most common cybersecurity threats is account and identity fraud.Here are some ways to protect your devices from cyberattacks:
- Use reliable passwords: All your passwords must be unique and contain at least 12 characters, consisting of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. If you use the same password for multiple devices, apps, and accounts and someone knows it, they have access to everything. A password manager is recommended for securely storing multiple unique passwords.
- Use two-factor authentication (2FA): 2FA and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) increase the security of your devices. Instead of relying only on a password, they require you to provide a code (or multiple codes) to verify your identity when you log in. This can prevent hackers from gaining access to your devices even if they know your password.
- Invest in powerful antivirus software: The Internet is full of malware, and your devices can get infected if you’re not careful. To protect your devices, you must use a reliable anti-malware solution. At a minimum, you should ensure that your operating system’s firewall and antivirus (such as Microsoft’s Windows Defender or Mac’s security app) are fully up to date.
- Update your devices regularly. Software updates usually contain fixes for newly discovered vulnerabilities. To keep your devices safe from these vulnerabilities, you should update as often as possible. If you are likely to forget, set up automatic updates.
Extra Tip: be aware of data leaks. These security breaches are happening more frequently now, and many of your passwords may already be up for sale on the dark web. You can check if your passwords or sensitive information have been compromised with a tool like HaveIBeenPwned.
3. Learn the Signs of a Phishing Attack
Phishing scams occur when cybercriminals pose as legitimate people or companies and try to trick you into sharing sensitive data such as bank accounts and credit card information. To protect yourself from phishing, you need to know what it looks like.Here are some red flags to indicate that a suspicious email, text, or website is fraudulent:
- Many spelling errors. If there are several spelling or grammatical errors in an email, chances are it was sent by a scammer.
- The message creates a sense of urgency. Scammers try to get you to act quickly and without thinking. Take the time to consider whether the message is real or not, and then act accordingly.
- The message was sent from an illegal source. Recheck if the message or email came from the expected number or email address. For websites, check that the URL is correct.
To avoid phishing cyberattacks, contact the person or company directly to confirm the details. Never click a link in a suspicious message, as this may install malware on your device or lead you to a fake website.
4. Encrypt Your Emails
If you frequently send emails containing sensitive information, you should encrypt them. In fact, you should encrypt all your online and offline data. This ensures that no one can access the information in your emails, even if they are intercepted. The same goes for any documents and files you send online.This is especially important if you are a company employee and not a contractor.Most email services provide free and paid encryption services that you can easily use to protect your data.Extra tip. If you work in an organization but work remotely, it is very important that you use a corporate device or discuss cybersecurity if you use your own devices. They will have policies and procedures to protect their data. You may be held liable for policy violations if something goes wrong while you are using a personal device.
5. Backup Data Regularly
Regular backups ensure that if something goes wrong, all your data is safe. This can be done locally on external hard drives and flash drives, or over the Internet using cloud-based backup solutions.For a digital nomad, the best option is to back up your data to the cloud. So you don’t have to worry about physical security when carrying additional storage devices. Likewise, you don’t run the risk of losing your hard drive or having it stolen.If you choose to go with an online solution, there are dozens of providers to choose from. Google Drive is one of the simplest solutions that integrates with many of the tools you already use.Many of these solutions provide additional tools such as automatic backups at regular intervals, encryption, and malware scanning.Extra tip. It is useful for a digital nomad to keep digital backups of their passports, immigration cards, visas, etc. This way, if they are lost or stolen, you will always have a way to identify yourself.
6. Employ Safe Browsing and Social Media Habits
It may seem obvious, but cybersecurity awareness involves avoiding unsafe behavior. People often forget how their browsing habits, social media posts and other online activities can transmit their personal information and make them vulnerable to cybercrime.Here are some Internet safety tips:
- Never share your location. When you share your location, you expose yourself as a target, especially if you are in a strange place that you don’t know much about. To prevent this, you should avoid sharing photos that show where you are and disable apps that track your location (such as Snapchat).
- Do not post Personally Identifiable Information in social media. Disclosing personal information such as your date of birth, phone number, and address can lead scammers to know your identity. It can also help hackers solve your password recovery issues.
- Change your privacy settings. To prevent scammers and stalkers from learning more about you, you should change your privacy settings so that only trusted friends can see your data.
- Never click on links in emails or text messages. Links in suspicious emails often lead to fake websites that try to steal your personal information or login information.
- Only access safe sites. When visiting websites, double check that the HTTPS padlock symbol is in the URL bar of your web browser. This means that you have a secure, encrypted connection to this website.
Stay Safe On the Road
For a digital nomad, the security of your devices and identity is paramount. Without a private Internet connection, secure devices, and secure practices, your ability to continue working is questionable. By following these information security tips, you can stay safe and continue to operate smoothly.
Six Cyber Security Tips for Digital Nomads
Six Cyber Security Tips for Digital Nomads