Working from home or anywhere else outside the office has become increasingly common. On the road, at a designated flexplace, in hotels and restaurants – even on holiday. This flexibility is nice, but these locations all come with their own information security risks.

That’s why we summed up a number of tips to be digitally safe on the road as well – in your business and your personal life.

Working on the go

Working on the road has its own risks. There tends to be a lot of carelessness for example, like all too conveniently sending some files, perhaps confidential, from your holiday location. Or quickly connecting to that public WiFi to keep track of things, even though you know all too well to avoid open networks.

It doesn’t even have to be work-related. Just think of sharing that one photo on Facebook or Insta, or looking up some information about the route. Everyday actions that can still carry security risks. That’s why you should always pack your information security awareness as well.

Below are some do’s & dont’s related to information security while on holiday. We will discuss them in more detail below.


  1. Be information-conscious and always
    pay attention with whom, where
    and how you share your data.
  2. Make sure your mobile devices have
    the latest (security) updates.
  3. Always treat public workplaces
    as a public space, and act accordingly


  1. Avoid free software, public Wi-Fi and
    open, unsecured networks.
  2. Do not carry any confidential documents
    with you, especially not on unsecured USB sticks.
  3. Booking a hotel or hiring a car?
    Never just hand over a copy of your passport.

Flexplace & public space

Flexplaces have become so commonplace that your favourite locations outside the office can become very familiar. Be careful though, because on a train or in a coffee shop, someone can easily look at your screen, overhear your conversations or have a glance at that pile of papers.

Always take good care of all your belongings and make sure that no one has access to your data. In addition, never use a shared computer for work, but always log in on your own equipment and with your own connection.

Updates: just as important on the go

Working safely on the road and on location means that you also keep all your mobile devices up-to-date. Because those pesky notifications will find you wherever you are; ‘An update is available’. Annoying? Then remember that these are often crucial security updates. The latest version of the software is not only there to improve the ease of use or add new features, but also to plug potential security leaks before they are exploited.

Additionally, be mindful of all the apps and software you keep on your devices. On a tablet, it is best to install as few apps as possible. Especially free apps are a risk, because they collect privacy-sensitive information for which they are often not sufficiently secured

phone with security awareness engine

Avoid public Wi-Fi

We love to be on the lookout for signs that say ‘Free Wi-Fi’, but that’s a habit we’d better learn to unlearn. Data on your laptop or smartphone – from passwords to private messages and from personal information to business documents – is simply not safe on public Wi-Fi. Hackers can get in relatively easily via other connections on the same unsecured network.

Also, networks that do use a password are not necessarily safe either. So be smart and avoid those too!

TIP: Use 4G and avoid connecting to networks automatically. And: A VPN connection (or ‘Virtual Private Network’) encrypts your internet traffic, to prevent outsiders from gaining access to the information you send or receive. This allows you to surf securely and anonymously.

Strong passwords

Did you know that the vast majority of passwords still consist of combinations such as ‘123456’, ‘qwerty’ or simply ‘password’…?

A good password on your mobile devices and personal accounts is just as important as it is on all your business accounts in and around the office. Be sure to secure all your mobile devices with a strong and unique password and make sure your screen is automatically locked when not in use.

Never write down passwords. Don’t share them with anyone, including your colleagues, but use a password manager like KeePass or LastPass. These services will also help you create a strong and secure password and keep all those unique passwords for your different accounts safe.


Photocopied identity documents

Renting a car or booking a hotel? It might be very easy to have the staff member at the desk make a copy of your identity card, but the vast majority of service providers do not have legal permission to do so!

This is not without reason, because your passport is a serious collection of very vulnerable personal data. In particular, the citizen service number (BSN) and your passport photo and signature are vulnerable to identity fraud. Therefore, never just give out a copy.

Although it is quite conceivable that your reticence will result in a discussion with the hotel staff or the landlord, you will often get quite a long way if you calmly and clearly explain why you do not want to have your ID document scanned or copied just like that. That way, your information remains protected.

Take precautions to minimise risk

If you are persuaded to produce a copy, make sure
that you take appropriate measures to minimise
the risk of identity fraud:

  • Make sure you have your own copy or scan in which
    the BSN, for example, has already been crossed out;
  • Put the word ‘copy’ or ‘specimen’ and the purpose
    of the copy or scan on the printout (‘hotel London’);
  • Use the KopieID app from the Ministry of the Interior
    for a scan that has all the important bits covered
  • Never keep a photo or copy of your ID card unless BSN,
    photo and signature are covered there as well.

Enjoy your trip!


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