A trucker's life on the road is filled with potential risks, and while it's often an overlooked issue, that certainly includes data theft. Whether it's a targeted attack on their online accounts or just a crime of opportunity, these risks are real, and something any trucker has to be more vigilant about.
To put it as clearly as possible: This is a major threat to both your personal security and financial safety, and should be treated as such. These five suggestions will help you tighten up your personal data security as you traverse the nation's highways and byways:
1) Back up your data whenever you can
The last thing you want is for your phone or laptop to be stolen. In addition to all the headaches with changing your passwords and canceling credit cards, you lose a ton of vital files, according to BackBlaze. As a result, any information you absolutely need should be backed up into the cloud as a matter of policy, whenever you can connect to a secure WiFi network. That simple step alone will reduce a lot of your risks.
2) Don't automatically connect to WiFi networks
While you should be using WiFi to back up files on a regular basis, that doesn't mean you should just connect to any old network you encounter, BackBlaze cautioned. That's especially true if they are public connections. Basically any data you transmit via such a connection can be monitored by someone with a bit of technical know-how who's willing to do it. Consequently, you should only use trusted networks and make sure you turn off your devices' option to automatically connect to any network it encounters.
3) Only bring what you need
This is just a good travel tip in general, but anything you don't absolutely need to bring is something you might want to keep at home instead, according to Security.org. Instead of keeping a laptop loaded with sensitive data, consider carrying one you only use to watch movies.
4) Keep your passwords strong
One of the best ways to protect yourself against potential hacking attacks and other intrusions into your sensitive information is to use the strongest password you can, Security.org warned. Long strings of almost random numbers, letters and symbols are preferable, especially in comparison with passwords that are relatively easy to guess. For example, you should have a password like, "jf53h!1fyn-46ash$sjj" rather than "iamatrucker," an old pet's name or a child's birthday.
5) Be aware of physical security
Finally, while you are doing more to protect yourself virtually, you can't forget about physical risks that could expose your data, according to American Express Global Business Travel. It could be as simple as locking up your truck and keeping your computer out of sight to avoid a crime of opportunity, or being more vigilant to make sure you never accidentally leave your phone behind at a truck stop.
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