Business Travel Agents Tips: How to keep your company data safe while travelling on business
13th February 2015
Flightline Business Travel Agents Tips: With the data security and mobile technology being on the top list of many business travel procurement managers in 2015, we thought we’d share some key data security risks and mobile technology issues travelling employees need to consider and measures, when it comes to international business travel.
Potential data security and protection risks business travellers shouldn’t ignore during a trip
Mobile phone thefts and data theft through WiFi and spyware on PCs in public areas such as the hotel or airports or even border and customs officials (especially in countries with illiberal authorities or corruption) are unfortunately part of our daily life. While many smaller businesses mostly have little or even no protection policies set up, most larger corporates have them in place, but they are too often communicated and enforced ineffectively. The worst case though, is certainly not the replacement of equipment, such as a mobile phone or laptop, but the loss of data, and even worse the possibility of unauthorised people accessing sensitive, confidential data – whether private or company data, including passwords.
Did you know that high-street cybercafés are often more securely managed than business centres in hotels? Also the use of WiFi facilities at airports, hotels or other public areas may not be as secure as business travellers may think, as fake WiFi networks can be easily set up to then capture personal or sensitive corporate data. Therefore, you need to be sure you can trust the provider you choose to use.
Professional business travel agents, like Flightline Travel, are often asked whether there are specific countries or areas that hold a higher risk regarding data security issues for business travellers, but this isn’t the case. Nowadays, equipment, data or identity theft can take place anywhere in the world. However, it is still worth noting that theft and pick-pocketing happens at lot at airports.
Data security risks can also appear from sides you may not expect at first. When travelling to the US, for example, keep in mind that since 2008, the US Department of Homeland Security confirmed that border agents are allowed to search any electronical equipment and digital devices when you enter the country, even without a reasonable cause. They are even allowed to keep them or data from it, copying it and sharing with other agencies. You even have to give them your password when requested if you have encrypted data. Sure, if they don’t find anything suspicious data should be destroyed, but when that will actually happen and how secure the data is while assessed and stored – no one can tell.
So has business travel become too risky for data, considering all these threats? Business travel agents and other experts definitely disagree. It is rather a matter of being aware and taking the right precautions. You need to be aware of possible eavesdropping and other issues. If you take the right precautions data security shouldn’t be an issue while travelling on business. Generally, if you follow the advice of “If you don’t need it, don’t bring it”, you are on the right way to keeping devices and data safe.
Here we share 7 measures business travellers can take to protect their company data during their business trip:
- Bring only the devices and data specifically needed for your business travel.
- When travelling abroad, bring a “clean” computer with minimal or no data.
- When having to use public computers, do not use or provide access to any sensitive personal or corporate data, such as financial information or PINs/passwords.
- When leaving your hotel room, ideally take your devices with you or store them in the safe.
- Beware of a fake mobile tower attack, in case you notice lower connection speeds on your smartphohne, iPhone or Ipad and be suspicious of generically named hotspots.
- When in confidential business meetings, turn off your phone and remove the battery to avoid eavesdropping.
- Don’t go through security before your laptop is through the scanner and never put it into your hold luggage.
What are your top tips for protecting your mobile data while travelling on business?
Flightline Travel Management, sharing business travel agents advice on data security
As one of the UK’s leading independent business travel agents, Flightline Travel Management offers not only superior travel booking services and tailored business travel management solutions, but we also support SME’s and large companies to implement efficient data security protection policies. (DO YOU?) To find out more and for any other type of support for your business travellers, contact us on 08443320174 or enquire online.
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