The next time you travel for business, make sure you’re paying as much attention to your security and well-being as you are to the local attractions and the location of your business meeting.
This may sound over-dramatic but, unfortunately, it isn’t. Even though a lot of business travelers are savvy when it comes to organizing their trips, they’re often less smart when it comes to their own personal well-being.
Because they’ve never encountered any security concerns before or they haven’t got time to put the right security measures in place.
However, making sure you’re fully protected both at home and away doesn’t take long. So, here are some easy-to-follow tips:
Protecting Your Home
Firstly, you need to make sure your home’s protected while you’re traveling with work, especially if your house is going to be empty during this time. If you’ve got an alarm system installed, make sure you’ve advertised this with a sticker on your windows or a lawn sign.
Equally, if you get newspapers delivered every day, don’t cancel them. Instead, ask your neighbor to pick these up for you at a similar time that you would.
The key to protecting your house is to make it look as though there’s someone there. Another way to do this is to set certain things on a timer, e.g. your lights and sprinklers, so they’re automatically turning on and off while you’re away.
Safeguarding Your Personal Information
Another crucial safety consideration while you’re traveling is to make sure all your personal data is protected. Unfortunately, with the use of public Wi-Fi hotspots on the rise, this puts your data at an increased risk of hacking.
From using these Wi-Fi points in the airport to quickly checking your emails while you’re having a coffee, you’re at risk of having your data hacked into because a lot of these hotspots aren’t thoroughly encrypted.
That’s why it’s highly recommended that you download some free encryption software and only use Wi-Fi hotspots you can trust. A lot of specialist hotels, e.g. Renaissance Boston by Marriot, will offer safe Wi-Fi usage for their business travelers, so it’s always worth waiting to log into these instead of using public services you can’t be 100% sure about.
A dummy access point may appear on your computer like a legitimate one but if you log into it, it means all of the personal information on your laptop or device can be viewed.
Reacting Quickly if You’re Robbed
Even though this is a worst-case scenario, you should still be prepared for all eventualities. And when you’re abroad it can be difficult to know what to do in the event of an emergency.
If you’re robbed while you’re traveling, you should meet with the regional security officer at the local U.S. consulate. This person will handle the security within this area and will be able to help you take the right steps when dealing with the local authorities as you report the robbery.
For example, if your passport’s stolen, they’ll be able to help you get a new one while also sending out relevant information to local news outlets about the theft.
Even though there’s already a lot to think about when you’re traveling for work, it’s still worth taking some time to plan ahead, making sure you, your home, and your data are safe while you’re working.