You have your passport, swimsuit, laptop, a good book and your kids’ iPads – you’re all ready to take off on vacation!
But wait – there’s one important thing you could be missing – and that’s cybersecurity. Of course, you can’t pack “security”, but it’s the one thing that can make you most vulnerable while traveling if you don’t take it into consideration.
Accessing public Wi-Fi in airports, hotels, and cafes can put you at risk; these networks are unsecured and accessible to anyone. Any electronic device can be vulnerable.
Here 5 ways to protect yourself, and your data, while traveling:
Keep software up to date.
Software updates are released frequently, and it’s recommended to install the update shortly after you get notification of it. Doing so prevents potential attackers from taking advantage of known vulnerabilities in the old software. Some operating software is setup to update automatically; if you don’t know how to set this up, get your IT personnel to help you.
Have your personal devices on you or locked in a safe location.
When a thief has acquired your physical device, it is a lot easier for them to hack into it. Be aware of your surroundings when entering passwords in public locations. Many times conference settings can be a lure for thieves as chances are the devices in use are for business purposes and have a higher likelihood of containing sensitive information. Keep your phone with you at all times rather than leaving it on a table at a restaurant or conference in case you accidentally leave it behind.
Don’t assume Wi-Fi hotspots are secure.
Protect your information by sending information only to sites that are fully encrypted. Refrain from online shopping or personal banking while on a public network. Only use sites that begin with “https://” when online shopping or banking. Using your mobile network connection is generally more secure than using a public wireless network.
Use strong passwords.
Your devices should ask you for a password or touch verification when logging in. Select passwords that would be difficult for hackers to guess, and avoid using the same passwords for multiple programs and devices. Here’s a great tip for choosing passwords.
Disable location services and remote connectivity.
It’s easy to forget to turn off Bluetooth after using it to connect to our vehicles navigation system or portable speaker, but remote connectivity can grant access to your device. When using questionable networks such as a public hotspot area, an attacker may able to send you unsolicited messages, or find a way to access or corrupt your data. Keeping Bluetooth in “hidden” mode, as opposed to “discoverable” still, allows you to pair with your own devices while keeping your device secure. Once they are paired they will always recognize each other.
These are general cyber-security rules to follow and should be taken into consideration even when you’re not traveling. These tips should help you on your way to protecting your personal and businesses devices and data. If you’d like to check that you’ve enabled the correct security measures, you can always reach out to your IT personnel or our very own support analysts. Safe travels this summer!