Traveling to a Different Country? Be Aware of these Privacy Risks when Bringing Your Smartphone

If you are planning to travel to either of these countries, it’s important to take steps to protect your smartphone and your privacy.

Traveling to a different country this summer? You might be excited to explore a new area and learn about the culture, but you should also be aware of certain privacy risks that come with traveling abroad. With increased cybercrime activity around the world, it is important to think carefully about how you use your mobile phone while away from home. In this blog post, we’ll examine some potential security threats associated with international travel and discuss what steps you can take to protect your personal information when crossing borders with your smartphone.

When traveling to China or Russia, it’s crucial to recognize potential threats to your privacy. Both nations implement rigid laws that curb freedom of speech and internet usage, which includes tracking and monitoring activities of foreign visitors.

In China, the government runs an expansive surveillance system that integrates facial recognition cameras, internet censorship, and social media monitoring. The government also detains and jails foreign visitors who engage in criticizing the government or violating its stern internet regulations.

Similarly, in Russia, the government has been accused of infringing on the privacy of foreign visitors. Reports indicate that the government hacks into the electronic devices of foreign visitors, and it detains and jails those who criticize the government or transgress its internet rules.

If you are planning to travel to either of these countries, it’s important to take steps to protect your privacy. Here are a few tips:

  1. Back up your electronic files including your contacts, photos, and documents.
  2. Remove sensitive data from your devices, such as your passport number or credit card information.
  3. Use strong passwords for all of your devices and accounts. Strong passwords should be at least 8 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  4. Confirm antivirus software is up-to-date to help protect your devices from malware and other threats.
  5. Be vigilant about your surroundings and where and how you use your devices. Do not use your device in areas where you are not comfortable, such as crowded areas or areas with no security cameras.

In addition to these tips, you should also be aware of the following cybersecurity risks when traveling internationally:

  • Wi-Fi hotspots: Public Wi-Fi hotspots are often unsecured, which means that your data could be intercepted by hackers. If you must use a public Wi-Fi hotspot, be sure to use a VPN to encrypt your data.
  • Email scams: Phishing emails are a common way for hackers to steal your personal information. Be careful about opening emails from unknown senders and never click on links in emails.
  • Fake websites: Fake websites are designed to look like legitimate websites. If you are not careful, you could enter your personal information on a fake website and give hackers access to your accounts.

By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself from cybersecurity risks while traveling internationally.

Here are some additional tips from the The National Counterintelligence and Security Center:

  • Be careful about what information you share online. Do not share personal information, such as your passport number or credit card information, online.
  • Be careful about what apps you download. Only download apps from trusted sources and be careful about what permissions you give to apps.

Mobile security that makes you smile.

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