February 6, 2014Grayson Milbourne By Grayson Milbourne

Keeping your digital life safe at the Sochi Olympics


Digital security is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about during the Sochi Olympics, but should be something that is on your mind when travelling to popular areas.  Just as scams are popular in tourist areas around the world, hacking is on the rise where media professionals, security, and large groups of travelers will be gathering.   In the past, malicious attacks through the digital infrastructure have occurred at the Olympics and other such events, and the Sochi Olympics will not be any different.  So, as you get ready to hit the Russian mountains, here are some tips to keep you and your digital work safe.

Before you head into Olympic Village

  • Ask yourself if you really do need that laptop with you.  If not, leave it at home.
  • Ensure all your programs are updated to their latest versions including browsers, e-mail, and antivirus.  Double check your drivers as well.
  • Backup your full computer onto an external device that is staying home.
  • Clear your cache and temporary internet files, and remove all remembered passwords from the browsers.
  • Encryption is your friend.  There are many solutions out there that can provide full disk encryption, or even just encryption of vital folders.
  • Setup cloud based backup solutions that maintain strong security around login procedure (Webroot/Dropbox/Box).  Backup and save all the files you will be working on while travelling to the cloud server and revert back upon return from the games.

While at the Olympics

  • Your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections are the fastest and easiest to exploit.  If you do not need to be using these connections, keep them turned off.  This tip goes for phones, tablets, and computers.
  • Do not plug any USBs into your computer that you find on the ground or are given to you by people you do not trust.  The largest breach in US National Security occurred from a rogue USB drive, and while your data might not have the same impact, the method of breach is still one of the more common.
  • If you can connect to the internet through a wired connection in your room, do so.  This helps keep you off rogue Wi-Fi signals that could gather your data.
  • Avoid logging into private websites, banking websites, and any other website where your private information could be compromised.
  • If connecting for work, use your VPN to connect and stay secured.

Remember, digital security should not be forgotten when traveling, and hackers are getting increasingly more innovative with each digital advance.  The best security you can provide for your digital work is to leave your laptop at home, but if you insist on bringing it, ensure you remember you are the first line of defense in protecting yourself.

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