For those who travel, being able to communicate is vital. While communication itself isn’t difficult in the age of FaceTime, Messenger, and good international cell phone plans, doing so safely is a challenge.
There are several big challenges to traveling and communicating safely. The biggest challenge we see is clients who go to countries that filter specific internet services or apps. For example, many Middle Eastern countries block Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Twitter, etc. For people who are used to communicating via Facebook Messenger, or uploading work videos to YouTube or Dropbox, this suddenly presents a major challenge.
The following tips can help in overcoming some of these challenges:
Use a secure messaging app
For people who use Apple products, iMessage technology can keep you safe. It offers end to end encryption, and uses data, not the cellular network. This means if you’re on WiFi it will still work. If you’re an Android user, then you’re most likely using SMS and MMS to send text messages and picture messages. Neither of these technologies are safe or encrypted. They also both require cellular network connectivity.
In order to overcome the challenges of security and connectivity, we recommend using a messaging app such as Telegram. Telegram offers end to end encryption, and in fact offers an even more secure chat mode where it completely stays off any servers. In addition, Telegram has strong group chat functions, and is multi-platform. This means if your team has both iOS and Android devices, you’ll be able to communicate. Finally, it’s rare to find a country that has been successful in keeping Telegram blocked.
Setup two factor authentication
When you travel, there is a greater likelihood that you may pick up Malware. While it’s much less likely Apple users will pick malware, it’s notimpossible. As a good practice, we recommend always using two factor authentication for your important accounts.
This means when you login with the proper credentials, it will send you a code via a different medium (text, email, etc.) and you have to enter that code to gain access to an account. We recommend this for everyone, not just those traveling.
Utilize a Virtual Private Network
VPN’s offer peace of mind through an encrypted “tunnel” that runs between your device and a server. Think of a VPN as a means to funnel your device’s internet traffic to a server in a foreign location, then out to the internet from there. This means everything you do is encrypted out of the country you are in. There are many VPN services, but we recommend a custom solution instead of third party companies. Our professionals utilize many best practices to get your VPN up and running.
These are just a few tips to get you thinking about how to better communicate safely while you travel. This is a crucial service we offer, and our professionals utilize very unique techniques to keep your organization safe. Contact us for a consultation before you travel.