This article discusses key cybersecurity exposures for business travellers and outlines steps employers can take to mitigate these risks.

Cybersecurity Threats While Travelling Business travellers’ laptops, smartphones and tablets are particularly susceptible to data breaches, loss and theft. Some common cyberthreats that business travellers may encounter include:

  • Unsecured Wi-Fi networks—While convenient, public Wi-Fi networks are unsecure and can allow cybercriminals easier access to connected devices (as well as the data stored on them) than private Wi-Fi networks.
  • Publicly accessible computers—Business travellers sometimes find the need to use their login credentials to access accounts on public computers. However, public computers often lack sufficient security capabilities and may even be infected with malware.
  • Stolen or misplaced devices—Theft or loss of devices is a major threat to business travellers, as this can result in the exposure of important data. Devices could be lost or stolen in airports, hotel lobbies, conference rooms or rental cars.

How Employers Can Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks Neglecting cybersecurity when employees are on the road or abroad can be detrimental to a business.

In fact, the latest Cost of a Data Breach Report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that a single data breach costs a business $4.24 million on average. Here are some measures employers can implement to minimize cybersecurity risks for business travellers:

  • Establish Wi-Fi policies. Employers should have policies in place requiring employees to confirm the network name and precise login procedures with the appropriate staff before connecting to public Wi-Fi networks in airports or hotels. Sensitive activities, such as banking or confidential work-related projects, should not be conducted on public Wi-Fi networks. Auto-connect should also be disabled so devices don’t connect to Wi-Fi networks automatically.
  • Enforce Virtual Private Network (VPN) use. Via a VPN, all online traffic is routed through an encrypted virtual tunnel. Such a network can help can reduce the risk of cyberattacks by establishing a secure connection between users and the internet. Employers should create VPNs and require employees to utilize these networks whenever possible, especially during business travel. CYBER INSIGHTS Local Touch. National Strength.™
  • Conduct physical security training for digital valuables. Most travellers let their guards down once they arrive at their destinations, but that can be one of the times they’re most susceptible to theft. Employers should encourage business travellers to never leave their devices unattended. Employees should also be instructed to utilize strong passwords or multi-factor authentication capabilities (if possible) and lock devices in hotel safes upon leaving their rooms.
  • Encourage employees to pack minimal devices. Leaving unnecessary technology at home can help reduce the chance of theft or data loss. As such, employers should only permit employees to bring devices that are essential to completing their job duties on the road or abroad.
  • Require regular software updates. Cybercriminals typically look for security flaws in outdated software. Updates are sent out to patch any holes in the software and reduce the opportunity for cybercriminals to attack. Employees should be required to update software on all their devices regularly.
  • Establish response plans. Employers should have specific response plans that outline steps to take when devices containing confidential information are compromised, lost or stolen on the road or abroad. Conclusion Business travellers often carry sensitive personal and work-related data on various devices, leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks. However, taking the proper precautions while travelling can help them keep their devices and data secure. For more risk management guidance, contact us today.


Business travellers often carry sensitive personal and work-related data on various devices, leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks. However, taking the proper precautions while travelling can help them keep their devices and data secure. For more risk management guidance, contact us today.

Whether you’re at work or at home, you may find yourself needing to reach a space that you cannot access from the ground or floor. That’s what a ladder is for.

Basic ladder safety rules apply at work and at home. Here are some reminders to keep you safe when you’re using a ladder.

Selecting the right ladder

Choosing the right ladder for the task is critical. Portable ladders should always be at least 2 feet higher than what you need to reach. For example, a 6-foot ladder is designed for 4-foot-high work. That is because the top rung or platform of a portable ladder is not intended to be used as a step or to support your weight.

Also know the material the ladder is made from. Aluminum is lighter than wood or fiberglass, but it cannot be used around electrical lines.

Check the rating of the ladder. If, for example, the capacity is rated at 200 pounds and you weigh more than that, select a different ladder.

Lastly, visually inspect the ladder. Check that it is not damaged or deformed. Any deformity means that it has already been subject to damage and is not safe to use.

Positioning the ladder

Make sure the feet of the ladder are level and on a stable, nonslip surface. If the surface is uneven, you will need to use levelers or stabilizers manufactured for such use. Concrete or brick blocks, buckets or other types of makeshift leveling devices are not safe.

When placing a portable or extension ladder, use the 4:1 rule. For every 4 feet the ladder is raised, it should be 1 foot from the wall. This creates a stability triangle so you remain on the ladder as you climb up. Being too close or too far from the wall can cause the ladder to fall back or collapse forward as you climb.

Finally, if the ladder must be placed in a driveway, doorway or other high-traffic area, use a spotter or barricade or tape off the area. This will ensure other people see it and can avoid hitting or bumping you while you are on the ladder.

Climbing/descending the ladder

Always face the ladder and use three points of contact when climbing. Wear proper footwear to keep your feet from slipping on the rungs. Consider wearing grip gloves to maintain a secure hold while climbing or descending.

Finally, do not extend your arms beyond the side rails of the ladder when working at a height. Keep your body centered.

When used correctly, ladders can help you reach elevated work areas. Follow these practices to ensure your safety.

The holidays are full of joy — but they can also bring some danger for the four-legged family members in your life.

From decorations to foods to presents, the holidays pose some new hazards for your pets. Keep your cats, dogs and other pets safe this year by watching out for these possible holiday hazards.

Watch the yummy foods

Holiday food isn’t just tempting for humans. Even dogs and cats may want to dig into family meals and desserts. When you serve up some cheer this year, keep an eye on these items and don’t let your pet get a taste of the following:

  • Chocolate, especially dark chocolate or baking chocolate, which can be lethal to dogs even in small amounts
  • Artificial sweetener in candies and baked goods, which can cause diarrhea and liver problems in dogs
  • Poultry and ham bones, which present a choking hazard to all pets
  • Yeasted dough, especially raw, which can cause dangerous and painful bloating in animals
  • High-fat items like butter, turkey skin, ham and more that can lead to painful, life-threatening pancreatitis
  • Raisins and grapes, which are toxic for pets

If you want your pet to enjoy special holiday foods, bake up some items especially for them or purchase holiday items at a local pet store. Remember, always monitor dogs when they are chewing on items like bones, antlers or rawhides.

Be careful with the Christmas tree

Christmas trees are both a danger and a challenge, especially for cats who like to climb. Secure your Christmas tree to the ceiling or wall to ensure it doesn’t fall over if your kitty gets adventurous or decides to play with the ornaments.

You should also avoid the addition of any chemicals in the water at the base of live trees. It is likely your pet will drink from the tree stand at some point, and additives to keep the tree fresh could be toxic.

And when it comes to tree décor, avoid salt dough ornaments, popcorn garlands or other food-based decorations that could tempt pets. Also, try to purchase shatter-proof ornaments to prevent any possible injuries to you or your pets’ paws.

Prepare for guests

Not all pets enjoy houseguests. Many cats and dogs can’t take the stress of crowds and new people, putting their health at risk and causing strange behaviours, even biting or aggression.

Make sure your pet has somewhere safe and quiet in the house they can go to be alone, such as a bedroom away from the merriment. You may choose to crate your pet with a favourite toy or treat if they feel safer that way or even board them away from home for the evening.

If other guests plan to bring pets to your home, be sure to set ground rules and make arrangements for their pets as well.

Clean up well

After your holiday party is over, clean up all scraps, foods, tinsel and more. Always take out the trash to keep it away from curious (and hungry) pets. When you let your pet out of their comfort area, give them plenty of praise to help them calm down and feel safe in their home again.

As you prepare for the holiday season, keep your cat and dog in mind, too. With the right precautions, every member of your family can have a happy holiday.

Every year, Christmas trees start fires. While these fires aren’t common, they tend to be very serious, resulting in costly damage, property loss and even loss of life.

Typically, electrical problems or a heat source too close to the tree is the culprit. But these accidents are usually preventable when you take the proper precautions.

Minimize the chances of a Christmas tree-related fire in your home with the following 10 tips.

1. Select the safest tree possible. When you purchase a live tree, choose a fresh tree with springy green needles that stay put when the tree is touched or gently shaken. Look at the cut end of the trunk, too – it should be sticky and resinous, not dried out. If you’re buying an artificial tree, make sure it comes with a label marked “fire-resistant.” Even though this doesn’t mean the tree is 100% fire-proof, it’s still a worthwhile safety indicator.

2. Place the tree in a safe spot. Place your tree at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, TV sets or hot lights, and don’t block any exits with it.

3. Make sure the tree is topple-proof. Secure the tree in a sturdy tree stand with widely spaced feet for stability. Secure by looping twine or fishing line around the trunk and tying to screws in the wall. A well-secured tree is particularly important if you have pets or small children around.

4. Water the tree regularly. Make sure your tree stand has a large water reservoir and be sure to add water daily. A dried-out tree is a huge fire risk.

5. Light the tree safely. Use UL-approved lights, and don’t overload your outlets or string together more lights than recommended by the manufacturer. Check all light strings for signs of wear, blackened sockets or exposed wires and throw away damaged strings. Make sure all bulb sockets have bulbs in them to prevent electrical shocks or the possibility of a fire. And run lighting cords along walls, not under rugs, to prevent overheating.

6. Keep gifts away from heat. Wrapping paper and boxes are extremely flammable. Make sure you don’t place gifts near open flames or electrical connections. Gift should not be touching any lights or electrical ornaments.

7. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Make sure every family member knows how to use it in case of emergency.

8. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and replace if necessary. Test your smoke alarms regularly, and run fire safety drills with your family.

9. Turn off the tree lights before you leave the house or go to bed. Even LED lights can overheat and, combined with a dry Christmas tree, cause a fire. To make it safer, purchase a timer for your tree lights. You can also buy a wireless control to shut off your lights through an app on your phone.

10. Dispose of your tree properly and promptly. Remove the tree from your home before it dries out. Carefully remove all decorations and find a tree recycling program near you. Don’t leave the tree in your garage or leaning against your home.

Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace. Needles burn quickly and intensely, which can lead them to flare up and burn out of control.

Protect your home

In the excitement of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget safety. Both real and artificial trees are susceptible to fire, especially when strung with lights. Keep these 10 simple tips in mind to protect your home and loved ones.