Cybersecurity for digital nomads: work & travel safely online

Toluwani Omotesho


Digital nomads are always on the go and rely on technology to stay connected and productive. As a result, they’re usually at risk of cybersecurity threats and attacks. Some common examples of these threats include phishing attacks, data breaches, loss and malware infections.

As a nomad, safeguarding your digital information is always a top priority. In this post, we’ll explore some cybersecurity tips to help keep your personal, professional and financial information safe wherever you go.

Use Multifactor Authentication (MFA):

Your online accounts contain a ton of sensitive information, making them a target for cybercriminals. By using MFA, you can add an extra layer of security to your information, significantly reducing the risks of unauthorised access to your accounts. There are several methods of implementing MFA for your accounts. These include:

  • One-Time Passwords (OTP): an OTP code is sent to your phone number or email address to verify your identity. The codes are usually only valid for a short period, usually around 30 to 60 seconds and are one of the most secure MFA methods.
  • Hardware tokens: These are physical devices issued to customers or users to generate one-time codes for authentication.
  • While they are also very efficient against unauthorised access, they can be quite expensive to get and, when stolen, can lead to a data breach.
  • Authentication apps: these apps generate time-based one-time passwords (OTPs) that you enter for verification. Examples of authentication apps include Authy, Google Authenticator and Microsoft Authenticator.
  • Biometric authentication protects your accounts using biometric data such as fingerprint or facial recognition.

Setting up an MFA for all your accounts is advisable to ensure your information is safe if your passwords get compromised.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN):

Using public Wi-Fi as a nomad puts your data at risk of being hacked and stolen. That’s why you need a VPN to minimise these security risks. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, protecting you from hackers while connecting to public Wi-Fi. It also offers other benefits such as:

  • Reliable internet connectivity by minimising factors such as routing issues and network congestion
  • Secure remote access so nomads can access sensitive or work-related information from different locations
  • Bypass geographic restrictions by connecting to servers in different countries
  • Safe online banking and transactions using data encryption protecting you from interception by hackers

Some standard VPN services to help safeguard your data include NordVPN, Proton VPN, SurfShark, Express VPN and Hotspot Shield.

Back up your data regularly:

The last thing you need while in a foreign country is to lose your data due to data corruption or a stolen device.

To protect against data loss, regularly backup important documents, pictures, videos and other files using cloud storage like Google Drive, DropBox, Microsoft OneDrive and iCloud or on an external hard drive. You should also have electronic copies of travel documents, i.e. visas, passports and immigration cards, in case the physical copies get lost or stolen.

Invest in your devices’ security:

Your devices, i.e. laptop, tablet or smartphone, contain sensitive information such as work-related files and financial and personal data, so you must invest in quality security software to protect your devices from viruses, malware or ransomware.

Using tools like antivirus software, firewall software, and encryption offers real-time protection to enhance the security of your devices and data while working and travelling.

Develop safe browsing habits.

Beyond using tools and software, it’s crucial for you to also be cautious while online. Here are some safe browsing practices to adopt:

  • Use HTTPS, not HTTP: while on a website, especially when asking for sensitive information like your card details, take a moment to check the URL to confirm it has the “https://” prefix in the address bar. Websites with HTTPS indicate that the data transferred between your browser and website is encrypted and safe from hackers.
  • Avoid suspicious links: avoid clicking links or downloading files and software from unknown sources and websites. These are often phishing attacks that steal your information or install malware.
  • Use ad-blockers: ad-blockers protect you from malvertising that could lead to malware infections and other security threats.
  • Stay updated: ensure that your operating system, browser and software are up-to-date to keep your device from being vulnerable.

Wrapping up

Hopefully, these cybersecurity tips will help you protect your privacy and data to explore the world with peace of mind. And because Grey understands the importance of safety, we’ve partnered with Insured Nomads so you can travel worry-free to any destination. Find out more about how this partnership benefits you here.

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