Your data on the move: security first!
In our increasingly connected world, it is important to make sure that your data is protected on business trips. Read on for our tips!
Data: volatile information
In response to this threat, and to protect the sharing and processing of personal data, Europe is trying to keep up: a new European legislation is in the works and is set to be implemented in May 2018. The GDPR (for General Data Protection Regulation) aims to give control back to the owners of the data that they share. Specifically, this is achieved by giving them the right to be forgotten, or anonymisation. Companies found not enforcing the legislation had better watch out; they risk being fined up to 4% of their total turnover.
Although data fraud is taken very seriously, the threat remains a reality. This is particularly the case on business trips, when business travellers work from different locations, such as public places. It is always up to the traveller and the company to take the most effective precautions possible to protect themselves from the risks as much as possible.
10 best practices to follow to protect your data
- Travel light! Only use the hardware (computer, removable devices, phones) that you need for the assignment at hand, and check that this equipment contains only the necessary data. You should also back up your data before your departure, in case you lose it.
- Watch out for prying eyes that might be glancing over at your screen! Reflective screen protectors will let you work with peace of mind and in complete privacy.
- Do as the secret agents do and protect your data using a data encryption system. Some hard drives may already be equipped with this kind of system. Use a very secure password and change it frequently. As an extra measure of precaution, use one for your documents too. You can use office software to help you do this.
- Free up your hardware and use the Cloud to access your data when there is an internet connection available (provided that it is secure, of course)! There's nothing to it; data is simply stored on secure servers with restricted access and passwords.
- Keep an eye on your connection: use "aeroplane" mode to turn off your connection and disable your Wi-Fi when not using it. This will help to prevent any unwanted intrusions on your devices. You should also hide your Bluetooth access.
- Never log in to an account just anywhere, even if it's only to check your personal emails! Public Wi-Fi spots are unfortunately very risky for your data. Choose secure internet connections and use the 'offline mode' whenever you can.
- Without giving into paranoia, always keep your business devices, hardware and files with you at all times on your trip, and throughout your stay. Our tip: mark your devices with a distinctive but discreet sign (a small sticker, perhaps?) to make sure you don't get them mixed up with someone else's.
- Never use hardware that is given to you (but do say thank you!), like USB drives, for example, if you cannot verify them.
- The same goes if a stranger asks if they can borrow one of your devices, even if it's just to do them a favour (USB drives, charging a smartphone, etc.) and even if they seem nice!
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