5 Tips to prevent threats of cyber snooping in China

| September 9th, 2014

Photograph: PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI/Reuters

Business owners and entrepreneurs around the world are always waiting for a chance to enter Chinese market, mainly due to its enormous business opportunities. However, if you are not careful, a trip to China can threaten your business. Electronic snooping may pose a definite threat to your intellectual property, ideas and information. Entrepreneurs found that the data snooping is affecting every stage of their stay at hotels in China. Moreover, they have seen clear signs that phone conversations, e-mails and internet use many have been subject to constant surveillance.

The main theme behind this activity has been identified as the acceleration of the economic growth and development in China. The report has been confirmed by American National Counterintelligence Executive. However, there has been a clear denial by the foreign office of Chinese government. Keeping in view this argument, here are five tips to secure your information during working in China or any perilous country.

1.Upgrading Operating System

Install a good security system to protect your laptop from any attack. For this, it is better to update your program regularly. Secondly, never bring the Bluetooth connecting devices like earpieces and keyboards, and turn off the Bluetooth function on your devices. Locking the device with a password or PIN seems to be perfect in this regard, and make sure to use disk encryption to protect your data. If you’re going to college, you can find which have laptop programs on mycollegelaptop.com

During a visit to China, one of the officials of a renowned security firm took a MacBook Air with him. In order to protect the device from the possible attack of spying, he installed File Vault 2 for the encryption of the whole disk. The built in features of the MacBook Air also enable some solid security features due to lack of a Firewire port and its built-in memory. The official, Mr. Mogul, observed a significant amount of traffic having the characteristics of eavesdropping. Despite of all the efforts of spying, this particular setting saved him from any data loss.

2. Remove extra data

Bright and promising companies in various industries will always suffer the risk of cyber espionage. The best thing is to travel with the necessary data. Using travel-only devices, which can be scrubbed completely once back home, might just be the solution.

Data security measures have been best adopted by a firm working for the financial advisory and services. According to their president, the employees of the company always take blank devices and flash drives with them. These devices contain minimal data that is further protected by PIN and encryption software program. After the usage at any location, IT department of the firm makes sure the machine is clean.

3.Bring a Simple Cellphone

Business travelers should turn off their personal mobiles during their visit to China. The turned off sets will not download the spywares; it is better option to use a temporary device that you buy at home. Smartphones and laptops from China can definitely threat your security because they have some built-in software programs for monitoring.

During customs clearance procedures, make sure to keep all your devices in sight all the time, because if you let customs officers to take your smartphone or laptop to a backroom, that could lead to aggressive data snooping. Therefore, it is better to make a respectful request to the officers to let you accompany your devices wherever they take it.

4. Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Chinese government has some strict rules over the internet traffic and blocks any traffic going against their national interest. This digital blockade poses many difficulties on foreigners in China. In some cases foreigners are not allowed to access services like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Dropbox. Therefore, in order to avoid such types of abnormal digital interference, it is better to use VPN (Virtual Private Network). This makes an encrypted and private tunnel for your internet activity. This can also give you a temporary location based benefit. For example, if you are working in China then the VPN gives you a merit of coming online as a US user. It also blocks some of unnecessary digital hindrances put in the way of foreigners.

5. Reformatting Digital Device

After you come from a trip to China, it is recommended to format your devices. Reformat tablets and laptops before using them at home or simply get rid of them. Also remove SIM cards from your cellphones and destroy them, and then dispose of the phones.

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