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How to Beef Up Your Travel Security and Stay Safe This Summer

Expert Witness: Evidence Solutions, Inc.
One of our experts was notified by a friend that her laptop had disappeared at an airport security screening checkpoint. Never to be seen again. Yikes! It is a good reminder we need to be extra vigilant while traveling.

As you travel keep the following in mind:

1) Do not leave your valuables anywhere they are not monitored. As our friend discovered, even a security check point with lots of Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) agents around can be a dangerous place to take your eye off of your valuables

2) Not only should you treat your laptop like cash, but treat your cell phone like cash as well. You wouldn’t just leave a stack of hundreds lying around, so make sure you don’t leave your cell phone lying around. Most people store a tremendous amount of personal information on their cell phone which adds to one’s
risk should the cell phone disappear. Add some security software to your phone which allows you to wipe all of the data should it disappear. This allows you to activate the data wipe function as soon as you know the phone has disappeared. Do not wait! Don’t hope the phone will just show up. Acting too slow may be acting too late.

3) Don’t share too much on Social Media. Sharing can be fun, but unfortunately you don’t always know who may see your posts and where that may lead. Announcing your home is empty is a bad idea. It may be detrimental to the security of your home while you are away.

4) Make sure your house looks lived in. Have the papers & the mail picked up or stopped all together. No reason to advertise to the passersby there is no one home.

5) Open networks should be avoided. It is tempting while traveling to allow your laptop or cell phone to connect to open networks. After all, we all need the Internet. But resist the temptation. There are plenty of examples where passwords and identities have been stolen when the user connects to a network named “Free Public Internet”. Seek out legitimate networks at known locations. Just remember, on any shared network anyone who has access to that network can see what you are doing and read all that you are typing.

6) Beware of your surroundings & don’t draw attention to yourself. Years ago Florida had the bright idea of having a license plate on all rental cars which indicated they were a rental. The crime rate on rental cars went through the roof. The message: Don’t look like a tourist and you will be safer. Blend in and be aware of your surroundings.

7) Lock your personal items up. When you are not in your hotel room, lock up your valuables in the room safe. Use a cable to lock down your computer if the safe is not available. If you are at a convention and you are using your laptop to take notes, use a laptop cable to lock down your machine to the table. Sure you may look a bit silly, but I’m willing to look silly to prevent a laptop theft.

8) Have your devices lock themselves. Laptops, Cellphones and Tablets should all time out in a very short amount of time. Thirty seconds of non-use is a good rule. This certainly will prevent others from easily accessing these electronics and thus accessing your personal information.

9) Avoid using shared machines in the lobby of the hotel. Who knows what kind of software is installed. A keylogger will capture all of the keystrokes you type and transmit them to someone who can use them for illegitimate reasons.

Travel Safe! Enjoy the rest of your Summer!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Scott Greene of Evidence Solutions, Inc.
For over 30 years, Scott Greene has been helping companies meet the challenges of the swiftly evolving computer technology industry.

Directly from high school, Scott went to work for IBM. Scott studied Systems Engineering at the University of Arizona. He has since earned certifications in many products and programming languages.

The Evidence Solutions team analyzes data from Computers, Cell Phones, Black Boxes, Dispatch Systems, Medical Records, Email systems and more. Scott then explains the digital evidence in plain English.

Scott’s extensive knowledge draws clients to him from all over the United States as well as Internationally for consulting, Forensics and expert witness services. His extensive and diverse experience allows him to be an expert in many facets of digital and electronic evidence. Scott, a sought after speaker and educator, travels throughout the country sharing his knowledge and presenting to local, regional, national and International organizations.

Copyright Evidence Solutions, Inc.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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