It’s a busy week…you’re on the road and slammed with meetings. There won’t be much downtime between obligations, and you need to get creative about working on the go. Starbucks, hotel business centers and lobbies, and co-working office spaces are all prime candidates for work. However, just because you need to camp out in an ad hoc working environment doesn’t mean you should compromise on security and privacy, right?

Unfortunately, this tradeoff of security for convenience can outweigh potential benefits and leave us up a creek without a paddle. That’s why we’ve put together a quick survival guide to bring you up to speed on digital camping 101.

Mobile Security Tip #1 – Lock Down your Virtual Campground

If you went camping, you wouldn’t forget to zip up your tent or extinguish your campfire at night. When it comes to your digital camper, the same care should be taken with your laptop and mobile devices. First, always lock your screen—even if you’re just picking up your latte from the counter. Make sure any important documents are tucked away in your bag and aren’t visible. You may even want to consider installing a privacy screen to discourage curious eyes or “shoulder-surfing” as well.

These basic steps help prevent wandering eyes from seeing data they shouldn’t and also helps prevent malicious parties from installing malware onto your machine. While this may seem overly cautious, it’s better to be prepared than risk loss of data. Think of these precautions as locking your front door while you aren’t home.

Mobile Security Tip #2 – Secure Your Private Connection to “Home Base”

Now that you’ve minimized your risk for unwanted guests tampering with your campsite, it’s time to secure your laptop. First, you’ll want to confirm your anti-virus solution is up to date and your operating system is fully patched. Many patches address and resolve known security vulnerabilities that attackers exploit whenever possible, so by keeping your system and software up to date, you’re covering yourself from a wide variety of popular attacks. Think of this like a multi-vitamin for your machine.

Next, when you connect to your campsite’s network, be sure to choose ‘Public’ profile for the connection type. This will prevent your computer from announcing its presence to your fellow campers and broadcasting information that is better kept private. Additionally, you will want to use your VPN to work within your private network or cloud to maximize your security.

While it seems simple enough, preparing in advance ensures a better camping experience, freeing yourself to focus on more important tasks.

Be a happy camper, and let IT Radix help you with “security on the go.” Click here to schedule a free consultation.

First published in our September 2019 IT Radix Resource newsletter