Tricky decision to make if you are among the millions that travel for work…. how safe is it? Will the new “laptop travel ban” affect me? What airports am I connecting through that are of concern? Is public Wi-Fi secure? Did that person just look over my shoulder (a.k.a. Shoulder Surfing) while I was opening an email with client information all over it?
Some examples of reported incidents: full disk copies made while laptop owner was out of the hotel room, laptops stolen at security screening lines, wireless access services have been monitored by third parties to gain information transmitted through Wi-Fi service, malicious software installations (including viruses), and programs that capture log-in data and automatically transmit key data to other locations.
The Travel Ban affects travel abroad (not domestic) for certain Country airports. “The U.S. ban so far targets nonstop flights from Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. No U.S. carriers fly to the affected cities, and the ban doesn’t apply to travel that originates in the U.S.” Click here for more information.
But, if you are like me and worry about what “data” is accessible or potentially at risk for someone getting their hands on…then the “airport” isn’t so much the issue…it’s those “hackers” looming out there in the wild (both for domestic and foreign travel).
So tips from a nervous nelly – like me – would be: don’t use public Wi-Fi, be leery of shoulder surfers and be situational aware, lock up your laptop in a hotel safe when not in use, and – if possible – bring a loaner laptop when traveling to foreign countries (see: http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/embargoed_countries/).
Sounds like an old cliché – but if something feels funny….chances are..…it’s not funny!