Five tips for a safer business trip

It’s easy to forget about safety when you’re away from home, tied up with client meetings and power dinners. Unsuspecting travelers – especially those who are out of town on business — make easy prey for criminals. With these simple business travel safety tips, you won’t have to worry about leaving your home behind, or whether or not you’ll be safe when you reach your destination.

Secure your home: Make sure your home is locked up tight before you leave the driveway. Give the illusion that you’re home by setting lights to turn on and off with timers, arrange for someone to pick up your mail daily or have the post office hold it until you return. Also remember to alert your neighbors of your upcoming absence and anyone who may visit your home like landscapers and friends feeding pets. Activate your home alarm system when you leave as well. Prominently display any home security system signs in your yard and on windows to help scare away potential intruders.

Carry essentials on you: Never check any of your important papers or your passport. Checked luggage is always more easily lost or stolen than carry-ons. Don’t flash your passport or any other important items in public as this can signal that you’re unfamiliar with your surroundings. Never leave any valuable belongings unattended, like laptops or phones. Also, give the illusion that such items are difficult to access by placing a lock or some other kind of security device on it.

Use only secure wireless connections: It’s tempting to use any available wireless connection while travelling. Hackers set up official-looking wireless networks at airports to get personal information from people’s computers who log onto them. Look for signs in public places that have the name and keys to official wireless networks. It’s worth your security to postpone checking your inbox or doing online banking until you find a secure network.

Don’t chat on the phone in public: Most participants in a National Crime Prevention Council study reported that they feel safe in certain areas while carrying a cell phone. This may be a false sense of security, however, as talking on the phone in an unfamiliar place and being oblivious to your surroundings makes you a ripe target for criminals. People can also eavesdrop and hear about your plans such as your hotel and with whom you are traveling – details that make it easier to take advantage of your situation.

Pretend you’re in the hotel room: Chances are you’ll be in business meetings and meals during most of your trip, so mimic signs that you’re in your room. Leave on a light and draw the curtains closed so that just a sliver of light is visible from the outside, instead of a dark empty room. Turn on the TV or radio at a volume where it can be heard in the hall so it sounds like a person is in the room. Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door to maintain the illusion that you’re there and people will be less likely to tamper with your belongings.

Courtesy of ARAcontent