ASATA: Be cyber-savvy


Ever had a delayed flight? Exhausted, frustrated and in need of escape, it’s easy to whip out your phone, laptop or other mobile device and use the free wi-fi available at the airport or coffee shop.

And in that moment, you put your, and your company’s, data, at risk.

But, you’re not the only one.

Research by international travel company Carlson Wagonlit Travel last year, showed that only 35% of business travellers felt confident about not sharing their company’s data while travelling.

Marriott International suffered a massive data breach in 2018 – 500 million hotel guests’ information was compromised.

One of the ways you can avoid this is by ensuring your company employs the services of an ASATA-accredited travel company, guaranteeing your business has a travel risk programme in place that protects sensitive information.

Besides that, here are some other tips you can use to protect your data while travelling:

  1. Avoid free wi-fi

Although free wi-fi networks are more readily available, they also make it easier for hackers to reach your personal information. Ensure you’ve disabled all your mobile devices from auto-connect modes so that it cannot connect to a network without your knowledge while travelling. And insist that the inflight wi-fi your TMC books is safe and password protected.

  1. Update your devices

Spend time the day before you travel to update any operating software on all your mobile devices while you’re connected to a secure wi-fi network at work or home. Do this especially for apps that store personal information, like your Outlook and Uber.

  1. Be password savvy

Don’t use the same passwords for social media accounts and for applications and devices that store sensitive information. Social media sites are particularly vulnerable to cyberthieves wanting to access personal information via ‘fun’ apps.

  1. Disable Bluetooth connectivity

Make sure you disable Bluetooth connectivity you may have used to share documents in a meeting. Same applies for the Bluetooth you could have used to make phone calls on the road in a rental car, and remember to delete all data that may have been transferred to the car’s system before you return it.