FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Remember when, a few posts ago, I told you that Russia is enemy number one when it comes to cyberwarfare?
This is what Conde Nast Traveler thinks you need to do to safeguard your data if you choose to go (just about anywhere in the world):
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
Free tickets, FIFA lotteries, VIP seating upgrades—chances There is no such thing as a free lunch. Do not reply to, click on or otherwise interact with these offers. Delete, delete, delete.
Protect your devices.
If you can, leave the devices you really love at home. Invest in a cheap unlocked phone you can use when you're traveling with a local SIM cards. If you absolutely need to bring a laptop with you when you travel, consider buying a sub-$500 Chromebook, eg: the Asus Flip C302. Bonus: with Chromebooks, everything is stored on Google's cloud, so if it the laptop gets jacked, you won't lose everything.
If you insist on bringing your laptop, make sure everything is backed up in the cloud and on an external hard drive before you leave, and ensure the device is secured with a password that isn't "password123."
Public Wi-Fi networks are basically "Steal my stuff" invitations
Avoid public Wi-Fi networks when you can. Even if you think you're somewhere safe, like your hotel lobby, it's not worth the risk. You don't know who else is in that lobby, and you don't even know whether the network you're connecting to is legit, it's not hard for a hacker to create a hotspot with the name "Hotel Free Wi-Fi."
If you absolutely have to connect to one, don't do anything sensitive.
Use a VPN (virtual private network). Think of a virtual private network as a tunnel that encrypts all your data as it passes through and scrambles your location (by changing your IP address), even if you are connected to the internet through a public network.
Two that are recommended by Wired magazine are F-Secure FREEDOME VPN and www.privateinternetaccess.com.
HTTPS is your friend—HTTP is not.
If a website starts with "https" it means it's encrypted, making your browsing more secure. If it's missing that "s"—for secure—anyone can snoop on what you're doing. To be safe, install HTTPS Everywhere as an extension into your browser: it automatically switches sites from the door-wide-open http to the far more secure https.
Rent a portable hotspot. Far more secure than public Wi-Fi are portable hotspots, the pocket-sized devices you can rent. They give you a secured individual Wi-Fi connection around the world, so you can connect to the internet without using international data or open Wi-Fi networks. Skyroam (starting at $9 a day) and Roaming Man ($9.99 a day) are two good options; both give you password protected 4G Wi-Fi access in more than 120 countries around the world.