Theme parks, cruises and international travel top the summer travel list. As everyone knows, no matter where you’re headed, being continuously connected is part of the plan. While having family fun is the goal, ICS also urges travelers to be cyber safe while away from home by following some simple practices to help keep your devices safe and your vacation plans taking a turn for the worst.
What should you do? Here are some tried and true tips that will help keep you safe and secure:
Enable Security Features to Protect and “Find My Phone”. Misplacing or having your devices stolen can put a damper on vacation plans. It can easily happen to anyone.
What should you do?
- Set up the “find my phone” feature on your devices. This will allow you to find, remotely wipe data and/or disable the device if it gets into the wrong hands.
- Make sure all devices are password protected. Use a passcode or security feature (like a finger swipe) to lock your phone or mobile device in case either are misplaced or stolen.
Protect Your Devices (laptop, mobile, tablet) With Passwords. Go, open Settings and set a password.
Not “abcd”, “1234”, “0000”, “1111”, “qwerty”,“password” or any other common password.
Not your name or surname, not your birthdate, your child’s name or any other family member (pets included). Not your favorite band, song or quote. Come on, anyone can find out those just by looking at your Facebook profile or reading your blog.
I’m talking about setting a real password. A strong one. One’s that unique and hard to guess. A combination of upper and lower cases, numbers and symbols. Phrases are the best choice.
Don’t write it down, memorize it.
Get Wise About Public Wi-Fi. Using public Wi-Fi at the airport or hotel is very convenient, but public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure. This means that anyone using the same Wi-Fi network could potentially see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while you are connected.
What should you do?
- Limit what you do on public Wi-Fi and avoid logging in to accounts that have sensitive information such as banking and email.
- Consider using a trusted virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection.
- Set your device settings to ask permission before connecting to a Wi-Fi network.
Watch Out For Scams With Holiday Offers.
Motto: better be safe (even paranoid) than sorry.
Cyber crooks especially set their sights on the travel industry before holidays. Travelers’ hunger for special deals makes them easy targets.
You might think that you ran into a hidden gem, an extraordinary travel deal, one that you can only take advantage of right in this moment. The odds are that it’s actually a trap and you’ll be left with no money or holiday to daydream about. That why it’s essential to pay attention to the attachments you download and the links you click on. Especially when you’re on your mobile phone, as it’s much harder to realize how legit the websites you ended up on really are.
What should you do?
– Look at the sender, especially their name and email address. Do they match? Most scammers spoof the display name in order to appear to be from a brand, but the email is sent from a totally different domain. It can also have a slight variation in spelling, that you can easily miss if you’re tired or trying to multi-task.
– Scammers are likely to play on your emotions or sense of urgency. They might include an urgent request, such as “respond today or you will miss this exclusive deal, exciting offer, gift deal, etc”.
– Beware of links that you don’t know where they lead. They might be short links or IP addresses. If you don’t know what’s on the other end of the link, don’t click on it. You can check them first with a tool that shows you where they redirect.
– Don’t download any attachments. They might look like innocent .PDFs or .DOCs with holiday offers, but the odds are that they are hiding some nasty malware.
As a rule of thumb, if it’s too good to be true, it most likely is.
It is important to remember that laptops, phones and tablets should never be left unattended. Ensure your devices are with you at all times. If you are staying in a hotel, the best thing to do is lock them in a safe. If a safe is not available, lock them in your luggage. And, while family fun is the goal, a recent study indicates that 92 percent of respondents admit to doing some work on dedicated leisure vacations. If you visit the hotel’s business center, avoid using public equipment – such as phones, computers and fax machines – for sensitive communication.