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Working on the move might not seem that precarious, however if you consider some particular aspects of working in this manner, it is more dangerous than first assumed.
Protecting data isn’t just about shredding sensitive information and it’s not just about ensuring that this information is kept safe at home or in the office. In the age of mobile technology we can now access any information via smartphones, laptops, tablets or notebooks anytime, anywhere. Therefore the onus of keeping data safe applies literally everywhere.
From coffee shops to trains, at some point we will have experienced the sensation of someone reading over our shoulder. This may be in regards to a newspaper, however as we mostly access data on a device, it will probably be someone taking a peek at your iPad.
These encounters are usually harmless if somewhat annoying, however with the increase of working on the move, protecting the devices we use is now a pressing concern and must be taken seriously. Especially when 69% of people don’t do anything to conceal their data, which is of some concern when 89% of business travellers snoop on their unsuspecting neighbours.
So how can you protect your data whilst on the move?
What is sensitive data?
Ensure that you know what information is sensitive, those documents that hold client details, financial records, business plans, or intellectual property should be protected or at least not viewed whilst travelling.
Who’s watching you?
When considering where to use a laptop or mobile device it may be ideal not to frequent highly populated areas such as trains, buses, cafes and planes. If you do however, it would be advisable to use a privacy screen to reduce the risk of sensitive data being overlooked by strangers/competitors.
This is especially so, when it has been found that 55% of on-screen privacy is violated on transportation and 51% in public places.
Taking care of your data
When travelling ensure that you keep your devices on your person and that you don’t leave them behind. Be cautious of thieves targeting your laptop and mobile devices, especially when travelling on the tube or other confined spaces. The data stored on your device could be more costly than the expense of replacing your item, especially if it’s of the sensitive kind. It is therefore just as important to make sure that data storage such as USB sticks and portable hard drives aren’t left also.
If a device or data storage is accidently left unattended, make sure that it is password protected, preventing potential thieves from accessing the information stored.
Public wi-fi isn’t protected
Networks that can be found in places such as cafes, hotels or airports should be used with caution. Although perfectly fine for browsing websites they shouldn’t be used for viewing important data, financial data or other sensitive information.
According to Europe’s top cybercrime police officer, sensitive information should not be sent over public wi-fi hotspots, to avoid hackers stealing it. Troel Oerting, then goes onto say that people should send personal data only across networks they trust.
However, it’s not only individuals who are falling victim to this type of crime, large companies are also getting into trouble as they’re not watching out for rogue hotspots that are regularly appearing.
In some cases attackers are using these hotspots to target certain individuals rather than trying to obtain data from everyone using a public network.
However you travel and however you work, be careful when looking at any form of important information. If you can avoid looking at this type of data when on the move then do. Always use wi-fi networks that you trust and if you do need to look at information whilst traveling consider using a screen protector.
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