Recently my husband had his identity stolen and I had my checking account hacked. As a result we are both now super careful and security conscious to the Nth degree. As we are getting ready to travel in September out of the country and I need to continue to stay in touch with customers, I had done massive research on how to stay connected and still keep my data and communications safe.
Here are the things that I have learned as I am preparing for my trip that I thought I would share with you.
• For any kind of banking set up two step verification or biometric recognition access. Plan on only accessing your banking on an emergency basis or not at all.
• For Google set up advanced verification with either two step verification or phone verification. But make sure to generate codes that will allow you to manually enter a code to get in if the text or message is not received. Google had previously locked me out of my AdWords accounts when I traveled and I am hoping that this will solve my access problem.
• Try never to use unsecured Wi-Fi on your travel. If you will need to, as I will, get a secure VPN app to allow you to connect securely. I am currently testing NordVPN and have tested Norton Wifi Privacy and ViperVPN. When I settle on one I will write a post about the app. These apps allow you to be on any Wi-Fi system and be totally encrypted and secure.
• Don’t count on river cruise or cruise ship Wi-Fi as your method to access the internet. The cruise I am going on is trying to sell an onboard internet package, but the speed is 2G. For me this is archaic and not feasible to use. The river cruise was similar. It was so excruciating to connect that I stopped trying. This time I will be having Verizon sell me a short term global internet access package for my phone and I am not even taking my laptop.
• Make sure to have backup staff to monitor email and customer accounts. Although I will try to access my email and manage client AdWords accounts with my team, I know from experience that this may simply not work based on where I am traveling. As a result I have trained staff and created backup plans on how to keep my customers happy. The takeaway is I may get online, but I should be totally prepared in case I cannot.
• Move all important things you will need while on travel to access to the cloud. Apps like GoToMyPC will be excruciatingly slow (I learned this on a previous trip abroad). So I have moved all my mail, files, and documents to cloud storage that I can access from anywhere. This includes email. I moved out of Outlook two years ago and now only use GMail and Google Drive for my work items as well as perform team collaboration there as well. I have learned that to review email on travel and then have to re review when you come home is too much work. I want all my work to be synced everywhere all the time.
When I return, I will share my experience with you on how it went this time around in regards to staying connected to work while out of the country. Alaska and Canada here I come!