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IT security: "Traveling Safely" PowerPoint slides from May 7 roundtable

The “Traveling Safely” PowerPoint presentation from the IT security roundtable May 7 has been added to the other presentations available on the IT security roundtable website. Harvard Townsend, K-State’s chief information security officer, offers information that’s also good for those staying home — such as the latest security risks and safety guidelines for using:

  • ATMs
  • Public kiosks and computers (including libraries)
  • USB flash drives
  • Laptops
  • Internet cafes
  • Airports
  • WiFi hot spots

IT crime statistics

Townsend’s presentation noted that ATM fraud is “rampant in Europe” and is also a growing threat in the U.S., with annual loss estimated at $1 billion/year, or $350,000 per day.

Laptop thefts remain a big concern.  Six laptops have been stolen on the K-State campus this year (2010), Townsend said.  An estimated 16,000 laptops per week are lost or stolen in airports (U.S. and Europe).

Before you leave home

Some of Townsend’s “Before you leave home” instructions are good for non-travelers as well:

  1. Backup your data.
  2. Record laptop identification information. Record make, model, and serial number, and take pictures of it. Label it with ownership and contact info; a conspicuous label is a significant deterrent.
  3. Write down credit card account numbers and phone numbers for credit/debit card companies (and take it with you). You can’t use U.S. toll-free numbers overseas but can call them collect, so take the right phone numbers with you.
  4. If leaving the country, notify the financial institutions of the accounts you will use (destination and dates of travel); otherwise, they are likely to lock your account when they see transactions from another country.
  5. Notify the U.S. state department (travelregistration.state.gov) if going to a volatile location.

For many more details and links to good resources, see Townsend’s May 7 “Traveling Safely” PowerPoint presentation.

About Betsy Edwards

• Web/information specialist in Information Technology Services • Editor/writer, K-State IT communications • IT News blog moderator • ETDR specialist