Stay cyber safe while traveling


There's the free airport wireless internet we all use to pass the time waiting in terminals. There's the hotel Wi-Fi we use to connect in our rooms or the free internet we use in cafes and restaurants. We connect to any and all networks with our smartphones, iPads and laptops, and mostly don't think anything of it, especially while traveling. However, despite the feeling of freedom that comes with travel and a break in our routine, it is wise to ensure we stay safe online no matter where in the world we go and have the right kind of security coverage. October is National Cyber Security Awareness month and travelers should always be mindful of taking security precautions while traveling.

Check out AIG Travel's articles on how to avoid credit card theft and boarding pass safety.

Take control of connections

The Department of Homeland Security wanted to remind travelers how to protect themselves, and recently released a cybersecurity tip sheet. It is important to disable any auto connect features on smartphones and other devices while away from known, secure connections, the source noted. When your phone is Bluetooth-enabled, it can sync up with other devices wirelessly such as headphones or car entertainment systems, leaving your phone vulnerable.

Always connect to secure networks. Staysafeonline provides some handy tips about keeping a clean machine. If the Wi-Fi is free or public, ensure you select the correctly-named network. You don't want to accidently leave yourself open to a hacker by connecting to someone's personal system. The tip sheet further states that travelers should obtain the right passwords and network names from public Wi-Fi networks to be certain that they are using a legitimate, safe connection. Always ensure you know where your phone is at all times and set up the "find my phone" features beforehand in case you need to track a lost device.

Put up your defenses

Before you even leave your house, stated, ensure that you have passcodes on your phone and laptop. If it's possible, encrypt them for another layer of security. Should either device happen to go on a trip of its own, the thief will not be able to get inside and at your personal data.

Travelers who head overseas often don't want to pay for international data plans. They then leave their phones in airplane mode and connect to the internet using Wi-Fi or a wireless connection. reminded travelers to use a VPN when connecting. Also known as a virtual private network, this method of internet access ensures that your browsing and data are encrypted, and therefore at least somewhat safer.

Hold on to documents

It's universally understood, but remember to keep your passport, driver's license and other personal information on you at all times. If your hotel has a room safe and you will be at the location for an extended period of time, lock up your valuable papers during the day. suggested that travelers make "copies" of important cards and information by taking photographs and storing them on their smartphones - which should be accessible only via password.

Being savvy with cybersecurity while traveling anywhere in the world need not be a headache. In fact, you just have to be smart about what you are doing, and really think about how wise it is to use an unsecured connection, to leave your device unattended or to conduct online banking transactions in a public place.

Contact your travel insurance provider for further assistance.

The information contained here is provided by Brafton. AIG Travel assumes no responsibility for the use, accuracy, or interpretation of the information contained herein.

Copyright © 2024, Travel Guard. Non insurance services are provided by Travel Guard.
Terms of Use   |   Privacy Policy   |   Accessibility Statement   |   Our Underwriter  |   Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information  |  About AIG Ads


Coverage available to U.S. residents of the U.S. states and District of Columbia only. This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer or insurance agent or broker. Coverage is offered by Travel Guard Group, Inc. (Travel Guard). California lic. no.0B93606, 3300 Business Park Drive, Stevens Point, WI 54482, CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-HELP. This is only a brief description of the coverage(s) available. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Insurance underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., a Pennsylvania insurance company, with its principal place of business at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, 37th FL, New York, NY 10020-1304. It is currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia. NAIC No. 19445. Coverage may not be available in all states. Your travel retailer may not be licensed to sell insurance, and cannot answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance. The purchase of travel insurance is not required in order to purchase any other product or service from the Travel Retailer.