Safe Networks, Safe Travels

More than any other time of year, the December and January holidays are when the most people face the IT threats unique to travel. This time of year mixes personal devices, business devices, new devices, public networks, and public charging ports. Independently, each of these creates potential exposure to cyber risk, but together they greatly increase an enterprise’s cyber risk profile. Support Doctor’s certified experts can help reduce the cyber risk associated with traveling during the holidays and throughout the year.

Public Networks

iPhone Wi-Fi network list. Public networks like DeviCe BATT3rY L0W don’t have a lock icon. Secure networks that require a password, like GetoffmyLawn, have a lock next to the network name. Android and Windows devices use a similar lock icon.

Our experts know that public networks are everywhere and that they are convenient to use, but these networks in coffee shops, rest stops and airports are one of the biggest threats to security. Among those threats is malware, which can infect any connected device.

One of the most dangerous aspects about connecting to a public network is the potential for stealing your personal information over unsecured connections A breach of this type is only discovered after the fact and can only be remedied by changing credit card information and login credentials.

Mobile Hotspots

While public networks are the worst way to connect to the internet when traveling and should be avoided, mobile hotspots provide a great alternative. These secure devices allow a person to travel with a private internet connection, that when properly configured provides enterprise-class security.

4G and 5G hotspots are available through all major cellular carriers and can be easily added to any business’s mobile service plan. They are easy to use and configure and almost anyone can be communicating on a secure 4G (or 5G) hotspot within minutes.


Carrying an extra device like a hotspot is not always possible, and there may not be time to add one to a mobile plan before this year’s holiday travels. Virtual private networks, commonly called VPNs, are software-based alternatives that encrypt your data  And hides your IP Address when communicating over any network.

By using this “secure tunnel,” VPNs allow users to use unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks in a secure way that keeps data safe and encrypted.

Contact Support Doctor’s Network+ certified experts to install and configure a VPN for you.

Safe Charging

Regardless of a device’s network connection, at some point all devices need to plug in and charge. “Juice jacking” is how cybercriminals load malware onto devices using publicly available charging stations. Public charging stations can be vulnerable to this kind of attack due to a universal connector for power and data.

Our experts suggest never plugging into publicly available USB ports, even using a standard, self-provided USB cable.

When charging in public, like in an airport, always use a standard AC wall outlet with a known and trusted AC-USB adapter such as a self-provided travel surge protector. When no AC outlet is available, our experts suggest using a data blocking USB cable or adapter. These special USB cables and adapters are capable of only carrying power.

Although it may seem overwhelming, network security while traveling is about not connecting to anything that is open and unknown. Don’t connect to open and unknown public networks and don’t connect devices to anything open and unknown to charge.

Support Doctor’s Network+ certified experts are available to answer any questions about network and device security during holiday travel and about keeping your business’s network and device’s safe throughout the year.