National Security Authority (NSA) has put together recommendations for Slovak athletes and team members, who are about to represent the country on the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The main concern of NSA is the team bringing their own electronics to the country. However, more steps are needed to keep Slovaks safe – before, during and after the Olympics.
The main goal of the preventive measures is the privacy protection of our national team. Many of our athletes are active on social media and they also use commercial applications for communication.
The conclusions of the Slovak secret services have long shown that China uses great number of actions on the countries of the European Union to spread its influence on all levels of social life. To do so China may gather different information, which can be used to compromise or blackmail public figures.
The recommendations of NSA has also been delivered to the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee.
We recommend to Slovak athletes, officials and stuff not to carry their own electronic devices to China. If it is possible, they should take temporary devices and SIM cards.
NSA has come up with two different scenarios. First scenario can be applied when the team carries a temporary device while the second one will apply to those using their own devices.
First scenario – I am carrying a temporary device
- It is needed to have a prepaid SIM card with a new phone number.
- The temporary devices must be secure with strong and unique password (it should contain at least 12 characters, the best way is to use phrases – to use various words that have nothing in common and add special characters).
- Use password that has never been used before.
- When using your temporary device, do not log in to your online accounts or applications.
- If you need to log in, turn on the two factor authentication (Use for example Google Authenticator. Do not use text messages as two factor authentication.)
- While in China, do not install applications nor software (not even from official sources).
- Before leaving to China, install VPN client and use it to access internet.
- If you do not specifically need to, do not use the internet in China. This applies to the all wi-fi networks and also to your personal internet data.
- Do not leave your devices unattended (not even in hotel safes). Better leave them with someone you trust.
- Do not charge your devices on public places.
- After arriving from China, do not continue to use the temporary device.
- Outside of China, do not connect your temporary device to internet, nor your PC or laptop.
- Change the password on all of your social media accounts and services.
Second scenario – I am carrying my own device
- NSA strongly does not recommend to carry your personal device to China.
- All of the above recommendations apply.
- Turn on the full disk encryption on your laptop, so your data is better protected.
- Before leaving to China, change the password to your device.
- The password must be strong and unique. Just like explained above.
- If your password contains numbers only, avoid obvious combinations like your date of birth.
- Before leaving to China, log out of your devices and account.
- While in China, do not log into your standard services (Google applications, Apple applications, cloud services, social media etc.
- After coming back from China, do not use the device anymore. If that is not possible, reinstall the operation system.
- Even if you follow all the recommendations, you need to be aware of your device being possibly compromised and your privacy in danger.