As a first step in planning any trip abroad, check the Travel Advisories for your intended destination. You can see the world at a glance on this color-coded map.
Note that conditions can change rapidly in a country at any time. To receive updated Travel Advisories and Alerts, choose the method that works best for you at travel.state.gov/stayingconnected.
For more details and FAQs about current safety and security information, please see travel.state.gov/travelsafely.
Staying safe is the message here, whether you are at home, at the office, or traveling. This encompasses all the basics, including being aware of your surroundings and using common sense. We’re in the middle of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and it is a good time to make sure we are using good judgement in our decision-making, both online and offline, with the ultimate goal of remaining safe. Remember, everything we do in life is becoming more and more connected each and every day. This is an interconnected, global society we are living in and we need to be aware of the effects it has on our everyday living.
- Do not conduct sensitive or confidential work over free or public WiFi. These connections are not secure and your data can be easily intercepted or altered. There are alternative ways to connect to the internet, including a variety of VPN services. As always, doing your research and following best practices is highly recommended.
- Be on the lookout for phishing emails. Phishing is still among the top methods that hackers and criminals attempt to steal credentials and compromise systems.
- Keep your antivirus and operating system software up to date on both work and personal devices. Best practices in updating, patching, system hardening, as well as regular scanning to detect vulnerabilities and indicators of compromise, will help to minimize threats.
- Be especially mindful when traveling abroad. Often, visitors in foreign countries may become targets of theft, fraud, and cybercrime.
- Avoid using your personal email or web accounts on non-trusted devices.
- Change your passwords when necessary and/or according to password policies enforced by your agency or organization. There are several different ways to add complexity to passwords that will help your credentials remain secure, such as mixing lower and uppercase letters, numbers, symbols. The use of passphrases is also another method to secure your password. These best practices apply to both work and personal devices/accounts.
- Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are ofen the wat cybercriminals compromise computer systems. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s usually best to delete or mark as junk.
- Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately or ask for personal information.
- When banking or shopping online, be sure the website’s security is enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which would mean the site takes necessary measures to help secure your information. “http://” is not generally considered a secure method of transmitting sensitive data over the internet.
- Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.