HomeCRL IT Reference GuideCyber Security Tips for CRL Business TravelCyber Security Tips when Traveling

22.1. Cyber Security Tips when Traveling

Last updated: Fri Jan 2022 03:55 PM (EST)

  1. Lock Devices Down

Smartphones, laptops, and tablets come equipped with security settings that will enable you to lock the device using a PIN number or fingerprint ID. If you are using your personal device to perform CRL-related tasks, do this on every available device. Your CRL-issued devices will require a pin or password to log on.

In the event that any of your devices have been momentarily misplaced or forgotten, this will be the first line of defense against a security breach.

 

  1. Be Cautious of Public Wi-Fi

The laws and regulations that govern cyber security in other countries are typically not going to be the same as those found in the US. Free Wi-Fi access can be very appealing for business travelers but is also particularly vulnerable to security issues. Avoid unencrypted Wi-Fi networks; ask your hotel about its security protocol before connecting to the Web. Be extra cautious using Internet cafes and free Wi-Fi hotspots; if you must use them, avoid accessing personal accounts or sensitive data while connected to that network. Ensure you always use the CRL VPN when traveling overseas. To access the CRL VPN, follow the steps found here:

https://crl.helpspot.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=4

 

  1. Disable Auto-Connect

Most phones in the US have a setting that allows a device to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks as you pass through them on your day-to-day activities. While this is a nice feature when used at home, it’s not something you should allow while traveling abroad. Before you travel, change this setting so that your smartphone and laptop must be manually connected each time you wish to access the Web.

 

  1. Minimize Location Sharing

It’s very common for travelers to update social networking sites as they move about new counties or cities. The problem with this type of excessive sharing is that it creates a security threat at home. By signaling your every location, you make it easy for a criminal to determine that you’re not in your hotel room or at your home, leaving your personal belongings within these areas vulnerable to a physical intrusion. Limit the information you post online about your specific whereabouts to limit these threats to your personal property.

 

  1. Update Operating Systems

You should keep your operating system as current as possible. This also goes for apps on your phone; take special care to update apps that you regularly use to conduct financial or personal business.

 

  1. Update Passwords

If you plan on traveling, change all of the passwords you regularly use. Similarly, if you must create a PIN for a safe or security box in a hotel room, make sure it’s unique and not something you commonly use. Don’t skimp on password creation either—a numerical sequence is not ideal. Take the time to create something that will keep a criminal out of your personal property. A passphrase is better than a password. If you need ideas about how to create a strong password, check this website:

https://www.webroot.com/us/en/resources/tips-articles/how-do-i-create-a-strong-password

 Once you return home, you can change all the passwords back.

To change your password on your CRL-issued Windows PC, press ctrl+alt+del and choose the “Change a password” option.

CRL Password instructions can be found here:

https://crl.helpspot.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=3

 

  1. Disable Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth connectivity can present problems. Bluetooth signals can come from anywhere. If your Bluetooth is left on, nearby assailants can connect to your phone and potentially hack into your device. Keep Bluetooth disabled as much as possible while traveling abroad.

On your CRL-issued PC, you can control Bluetooth settings by typing “Bluetooth” in the search bar on the lower left.

https://crl.helpspot.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=21

From this menu, you can disable Bluetooth on your PC.

 

If you have any questions or require assistance, please don’t hesitate to submit a request to the CRL IT Team using our HelpSpot website:

https://crl.helpspot.com/index.php?pg=request

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