You like to travel light so when you’re on a business trip, the only digital devices you take are your smartphone and tablet. They keep you in touch with the office, let you check emails and company databases, and browse for information on the Internet. Besides, if you need to do major research, work on a report, or manage a spreadsheet, you can usually rely on the computer at your hotel’s business center.
Unfortunately, such desktops are major targets for hackers. These data criminals like to install keyloggers, which are malware applications designed to record whatever you type, especially user codes, passwords, account numbers, and other important information.
The thieves gain access to the business center by registering under an assumed name with a stolen credit card. You may never know of the security breach until you discover, many weeks later, that confidential files have disappeared from the company database or that your business accounts are missing money.
To guard against this chicanery, use hotel systems only for general browsing. Never use them to enter sensitive or confidential information. If you need to print an email or something sent via email at the hotel business center, copy the information as a stand-alone file to a flash drive. Then print from the flash drive, so your email user code and password never get entered into the hotel computer. Another less convenient solution is to travel with a laptop, so you never have to rely on someone else’s hardware to do your work on a trip.