Being a member of the armed forces gives you access to armed forces discount flights. This is a great way to ensure you get the vacation and the downtime you need, before returning to base.
But, you’re probably aware that data breaches are becoming more commonplace. You need to familiarize yourself with the risks and the best steps to take to protect your money, tech and your identity. If you don’t your dream vacation could turn into a huge nightmare.
Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take; allowing you to make the most of your armed forces discount flights and enjoy your downtime safely.
The State Of Play
Marriott, Delta Air Lines, British Airways, even Facebook, (via Cambridge Analytics, have all been hit with data problems. The Marriot group estimates that as many as 383 guest records are potentially affected; with as many as 5.25 million passport numbers exposed.
In short, digital data theft is big business, it allows anyone to steal your identity and often get away with it.
Create A Digital Persona
Before you travel or even make your booking, you should create your digital persona.
This means having a throwaway cell phone number, screening your calls with caller ID and creating a one-off email address.
The principle is that if any of these items are hacked, or the details were stolen; they have no real relevance to your everyday life. You simply use them once when booking the vacation and then delete/throw away the details.
In addition to this, you can use a service like iPostal1.com which creates a mailing address for you; allowing yours to remain a secret.
Encrypt Your Laptop
If you need to take your laptop or tablet with you then make sure it is encrypted. There’s plenty of software available, such as BitLocker which will enable you to do this and guide you through the process. This will make your information harder to access by hackers.
In addition, you should have a back-up at home and off-line which will allow you to remove sensitive and personal files from your computer.
PIN and other locking devices are fitted to all cell phones, laptops, and tablets. Use them; without these, your computer is an open book to anyone passing by.
You can also use a device called a juice-jack protector. It plugs into your charger and prevents data from being skimmed when you’re using a public charging point.
Of course, bringing your own power pack and avoiding using public Wi-Fi is a better option. However, if you do need to use public Wi-Fi then make sure you are using a VPN as this will make it harder for hackers to track their way into your computer.
Many services are now offering two-factor authentications. This may seem like a hassle but it’s going t make it much harder for a hacker to get into your personal accounts. That makes it worth the inconvenience.
In addition, you should get a virtual card that is designed for one use only. You should be able to get this through your bank and you can limit the amount it’s allowed to withdraw. If the number is stolen it’s effectively useless.
Of course, you should also regularly check all financial transactions; this will ensure you spot an issue early and can take action.
Once you’ve got the security side sorted you can use your armed forces discount flights and take off to the destination of your dreams!