More than 15 million Americans experience identity theft every year. One-third of these crimes occur during travel.
But when you’re a business traveler, it’s not just your information that’s at risk of getting stolen. Criminals also target critical business information such as employee and customer data.
Thankfully, more and more business travelers are becoming aware of what it takes to travel safe. Over 50% of corporate travel managers reported growing safety concerns in 2017.
Let’s take a look at what steps you can take to stay out of danger during your next business trip.
Preparing for the Trip
Whether flying in a private jet or commercial, reading up on local laws is the first step you need to take to travel safe. Use the internet to find out any curfews or restrictions that are currently in place. Look for up-to-date security news as well.
Next, you should make two copies of each important document that you plan to bring with you. This includes your credit cards, passport, tickets, and other forms of ID. This way, if anything gets stolen, you’ll have an easier time replacing them.
Avoid packing clothes that give away the fact that you’re American, as this can make you an easy target. Limit jewelry, too.
Finally, write down the address and contact info for the US Embassy or Consulate. Make sure your family has alternative ways to contact you if anything goes wrong.
Protecting Your Electronic Devices
Before the trip, make sure to backup all your data. Also, update your antivirus software.
Never use public wifi during your trip, especially if you plan to check bank or credit card statements. Instead, purchase a portable router and try using your own wifi hotspot.
Don’t accept any thumb drives given to you by someone else, and make sure nobody connects to your devices. Do your best to hide passwords from others when inputting them.
Always clean out your browser following every use. Erase your cookies, browsing history, and temporary files.
If any of your devices get stolen while you’re in a foreign country, reach out to the US Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible.
Remaining Vigilant During Your Stay
If you can help it, never travel alone during the night, and don’t bring too much cash with you. Pickpockets often work in groups. When going out, cover your beverage containers too.
Although you want to keep family and friends updated, be careful with social media. Delay making posts that reveal your exact location during your stay.
Also, set aside some time to check your bank account activity every day. This gives you the best chance of catching a criminal early.
Reach out to the US embassy or Consulate if you get arrested abroad. If you have issues with law enforcement when traveling domestically, contact a lawyer. Experts like T. T. Williams, Jr., Investigations, Inc. Wrongful Convictions can help your case, as they specialize in the use of force and police procedure.
Final Thoughts on How to Travel Safe for Business
Change the passwords for all of your accounts and devices as soon as you get home.
Don’t forget to contact your company’s information security officer as well. Carefully look over your system access history with them to see if you notice any oddities.
Finally, if you receive any calls, texts, or emails from foreigners after your return, report it to the FBI. Do the same with any strange activity that occurred during your trip.
Feel free to check out our business travel blog for more helpful tips!