Mobile Security on Planes, Trains and Automobiles: 5 Tips to Keep Your Data Safe During Thanksgiving Travel

International airport in Porto, Portugal

International airport in Porto, Portugal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanksgiving is undoubtedly the busiest travel time of the year with notorious transportation delays, traffic and travel snags.

As we rely more and more on our mobile devices while we travel, it’s important to recognize that they are becoming ever more sophisticated and now lend themselves to the same type of access to e-mail, passwords, text messages, mobile banking credentials and other secure information that used to be reserved for PCs.

With increasingly powerful devices at our fingertips holding such sensitive information, the risks of our voice and data communications being compromised is escalating – especially on the road.

Fortunately, a combination of plain old common sense and some technology can protect you and your devices on the go –quickly and easily.


Here are a few mobile security tips to consider this holiday travel season:

  1.  Make sure your software is up-to-date: Almost every release of software patches a number of security vulnerabilities that are out there. So before your trip, it’s a good idea to download the latest software for your device.
  2.  Avoid unencrypted public wireless networks: From rest stop coffee shops to trains and now even planes,  we’ve become accustomed to having ready access to the Internet just about anywhere. The problem is, it’s easy to forget how vulnerable that makes us to security threats. Such Wi-Fi networks require no authentication or password for access, so anyone can log-in–including the bad guys. Besides avoiding connecting to unencrypted networks, turn off Wi-Fi when you’re not using it. This will prevent you from automatically connecting to networks (and has the added bonus of extending your device’s battery life).
  3. Consider Bolstering Your Security with Hardware: Hardware-anchored security solutions like KoolSpan’s TrustChip, reside in their own isolated environment away from security threats that often reside in connected devices and platforms. This means that every data and voice call or message is encrypted with a secret, unique series of numbers, keeping your information safe from hackers that loom in software-accessible systems.
  4. Turn off your data while you are shopping on Black Friday: Why? Because retailers can track you through your MAC address (unique to your phone) using the store’s WiFi system, to determine your favorite department, how long you linger in house wares, and if you’re a repeat visitor. So if you don’t want to be tracked the answer is simple, turn off your WiFi.
  5. Just because you can now use your phones and WiFi on an airplane throughout the entire flight, it doesn’t mean that you should: Just like any other hotspot, the second you log-in, your information is open to others also using the network. If a hacker is on the plane, he can easily get into computers on the network.

So enable firewalls, turn off sharing capabilities, and even manually type HTTPS for secure website visits.

For more information on how to protect yourself and your mobile information, contact us at anytime.

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