The threat of data theft follows travelers; there’s never a vacation from hackers. So what should the traveler do? Anticipate snooping by hackers. This way, you can prepare for the worst.

  1. If you must bring a laptop, use it as a shell to access data remotely. Leave private information behind. If this is not possible, bring it with you in the form of an encrypted memory stick or have it stored online to download later.
  2. Always use comprehensive security software whenever connecting online.
  3. If you anticipate bringing your laptop or other devices along, have an IT expert install on it disk encryption software. Better yet, have the whole hard drive encrypted: This would be worthless in the hands of a thief.
  4. Install a VPN: virtual private network. The VPN will allow you to get onto websites that are blocked in some foreign countries like China. A VPN will also protect data as it’s transmitted through the air, scrambling it so that hackers can’t understand it.
  5. Use multiple layers of protection. For example, if your device has the capability, use a fingerprint scanner to verify the user’s identity in addition to password protecting your device. Any combination of these features might be built into the hardware, software or available as a peripheral.
  6. To prevent visual hacking (people spying on what you’re doing on your computer), use a privacy screen. 3M makes a great one. And be careful where you choose to work on your computer. Don’t have your back facing the open where someone can easily peer over your shoulder or even record what’s on your screen from a distance.
  7. Never leave your devices in a hotel room or unattended while you head off to the restroom or take a break from a conference meeting. Just suck it up and take it with you.