The astonishing advance of technology has changed the way we do business forever. With a plethora of mobile devices, sophisticated cloud platforms and productivity tools, starting a virtual, location independent business has never been simpler. For many, this is a dream come true. You travel as much as you desire, meet new people and cultures and, most importantly, manage your workload according to your needs.
However, before you embrace the life of a digital nomad, you need to be aware of all the challenges this lifestyle presents. Being a tech-savvy tourist, living out of a suitcase, makes you vulnerable to a number of security issues. Here are a few crucial safety tips you need to always keep in mind.
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Keep your Valuables Safe
It doesn’t matter if you’re an internet café or a co-working space kind of a gal, you need to choose your working spot strategically. For instance, you should always seat closer to the back of the room or put your back up against a wall. This way, you will prevent people from looking over your shoulder at your screen and, at the same time, have a good view of potential thieves that might be targeting your stuff. When it comes to your equipment, here is what you need to know.
Don’t keep your equipment off sight. When working, you will hardly have time to pay close attention to what’s going on around you. Therefore, you should never have your phone or a tablet next to you or, even worse, go to the bathroom and leave them on a table. This is an open invitation to petty thieves and the chances are that your valuables will be gone in a flash.
Don’t bring expensive gear you don’t need. A laptop and a phone are a must, but do you really need your iPod that bad? Leave all expensive and unnecessary equipment in your hotel room instead of carrying it around. Also, since you have no idea who else has a key to your room, you should lock your stuff away in a hotel safe or an in-room safe.
Secure your backpack. As a digital nomad, you need to find a way to squeeze your entire life in a backpack. And, this is something thieves are perfectly aware of. So, you need to find a way to secure your backpack effectively. For example, you could invest in a theft-proof backpack. If you’re still worried that someone might steal it, you could tuck a tiny gps tracking device into one in its pockets and, in this way, be able to track it the whole time.
Insure your business equipment. Make sure that your travel insurance covers your gear. If your valuables are lost, stolen or damaged by your common carrier, such as an airline or a hotel staff, your insurance will compensate for the loss up to a certain amount. Moreover, given the fact that you’ll be traveling a lot, you should consider buying an annual travel insurance plan.
Move to Cloud to Save your Data
Today, we have moved almost every aspect of our lives online. The same goes for our businesses. The rise of intuitive tech solutions has offered us a myriad of cloud platforms that enable unrestricted access to files, easier data transmission and cross-channel communication. Unlike onsite backup solutions, cloud storage ensures that your work-related data will be out of harm if your equipment dies or gets stolen.
Now, as the number of cloud platforms is rapidly growing, getting tons of free space has never been simpler. However, this is not the only feature you should be looking for. Your paramount is to take the way a cloud vendor protects your privacy into consideration. Namely, the majority of these platforms such as CrashPlan, Backblaze and Carbonite offer advanced data encryption, making the entire backup of sensitive data safer. Put simply, the copies of the files you want to back up are encrypted before being transferred to the cloud provider’s servers. Furthermore, as long as they are on those servers, your files will be additionally encrypted.
Invest in a VPN
As a global digital nomad, you’re often forced to use shared computers, public or semipublic wi-fi and, in this way, greatly jeopardize your security. This practically means that anybody using the same network can intercept your unencrypted, sensitive data, including your usernames, passwords and credit card numbers. Precisely because of this, you need to invest in a VPN.
Standing for a Virtual Remote Network, a VPN is developed to protect all your internet traffic, “hide” you from other public network users and make you much harder to track. Once you install a VPN app for your laptop or phone and choose a server you would like to use, your data will be encrypted in a matter of seconds. Additionally, VPNs can also help you access certain sites that are forbidden in some countries, such as Netflix and HBO.
With a myriad of both paid and free VPN plans, such as TunnelBear, Private Internet Access VPN, NordVPN and IPVanishVPN, you need to do a thorough research before you choose the one that meets your needs. Always go with the one that is easy to install, has apps for the devices you use, works in the countries you’re planning to visit and works at acceptable speeds.
Regardless of how exciting the life of digital nomads is, it requires them to be alert to even the slightest safety problem they might come across. Hopefully, this article explains to you how important this issue is and helps you address it effectively. Remember, in order to make the most of your career as a digital nomad, you need to constantly improve the safety of your equipment, business-related files and other sensitive online data.