Travel agents help send their clients all over the world. Being able to provide top notch service is a must, and that service can’t be provided without a lot of data. For your continued success as a travel agent, your customers need to be certain that you’re able to keep that data safe as security concerns continue to rise. The best data protection strategy is a multifaceted one.
1. Manage What You Store
The most responsible thing a travel agent can do with data is completely eliminate all of the data they don’t immediately need. The less data you store, the less data you could potentially be putting at risk. While you might want to retain things like email addresses and phone numbers to check in with your clients after their trips, there’s no reason to hang onto anything you won’t use again in the immediate future.
2. Use a VPN
VPNs have a wide variety of uses. Most commonly, people use VPNs to bypass restrictions to USA specific content like Netflix. If you’re a travel agent who also likes to travel, that’s a great reason to use a VPN. VPNs are also incredible to protect sensitive data, because they’re specifically designed to make it nearly impossible for anyone to invade your private traffic tunnel.
3. Work Remotely Through the Cloud
If you’re taking your fellow travel agents out on a business trip, consider working through the cloud. Cloud services come equipped with their own security, and they’re designed to make data and information accessible from everywhere in the world. You won’t be traveling with any data on your device, so device damage in transit or lost luggage won’t create a data disaster.
4. Update Frequently
In order to keep data safe, you’ll need to update two things frequently: your security software, and your passwords. Changing passwords every 6 to 8 weeks reduces the potential that an active password can be accessed or hacked. Allowing your computers to automatically run updates on the protection software will keep you shielded from the latest data threats as they develop.
5. Train Often
Travel agents need to be trained in more than just customer service and issues affecting company culture. Anyone and everyone who works with a computer needs a little bit of training in cybersecurity. They’ll be able to spot potential risks and report them to IT before they become large problems. Training gives everyone the knowledge they require in order to be proactive.
6. Keep a Kill Switch
One of the best ways to prevent data intrusion is to set devices to remotely wipe themselves clean. If a laptop or a smartphone that contains sensitive business data is ever misplaced or stolen (or if a device is in some way hacked), a remote kill switch can wipe everything from the compromised device before the data gets into the wrong hands. Think of it like a failsafe.
7. Have a Disaster Plan
Nobody wants things to go wrong, but even if you do everything in your power to keep your data secure, there’s always a chance that a malicious entity or program can find a way to sabotage your protection measures. Make sure you have a functioning disaster plan. Keep backups, and assign roles to your fellow travel agents about who will take what role in the recovery process. Ideally, you’ll never need to use it, but you don’t want to be caught without it.
You can never be too careful with sensitive data. Remember to update and innovate as often as possible to stay at the forefront of security standards. Your clients deserve the best.
Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at Bizset – an online resource of relevant business information.