Summary: Your high-speed internet connection can be your gateway to the world — especially if you’re booking travel online. It can also open you up to online hackers. Find out how your internet service provider can help reduce your data risk before you go, and how to stay online safer on your trip.
Now is a great time to ensure you have a plan to protect your data and privacy both before and during your trip, especially since airlines, hotels, and other travel-related companies have had breaches.
To reduce your risk, WorldAware recommends creating a “digital persona” for booking travel or making other online travel-related transactions. For example:
- Set up a separate phone number using a service like Google Voice or RingCentral to keep your phone number private.
- Create an email address to use only when booking online. EarthLink customers have access to additional email addresses they can use to create a travel online ID. To set up these addresses, click here.
- Keep your addresses private with a service like iPostal1.com, PhysicalAddress.com, and PostScanMail.com. You can also rent a P.O. Box from the U.S. Postal Service; however, note that some online forms don’t accept P.O. Box addresses.
Then, as you plan your departure, remember these tips:
- Know local laws regarding medications. You may need a doctor’s note or other documentation with any you bring along.
- Make three copies of your passport. Keep one in the safe of your hotel, another one in your wallet or purse, and leave one at home with family or friends.
- Know how you will get to and from your destination. Cell phones may not work everywhere you go, meaning you can’t make calls or use electronic maps or rideshare apps. Having initial transportation arranged ahead of time will ensure you’re not stuck.
- Learn what items you can bring on the plane, cruise ship, or other modes of travel since airlines and cruise ships often have different rules.
- Keep in mind what type of currency you’ll need at your destination and get cash if you’ll need it once you hit the ground.
- Make a written list of contact information. Having this information on a physical piece of paper protects you if something happens to your digital devices.
- Communication is key, especially when it comes to checking in with other members of your group. Make a plan for how you’ll communicate, and how often you’ll check in.
Protecting your data when you plan your travel — whether abroad or domestically — is an important step to staying safer. It’s also a good reminder that keeping your digital data safe in everyday life is also essential. Check out more tips on how to keep your data private and protect your identity.