Keeping your digital devices and accounts safe while travelling can be as simple as being cyber-smart about your social media post content, avoiding public Wi-Fi and more.
While on holiday, you might put a padlock on your suitcase and keep your foreign currency in a money belt for safety. It is also essential to keep digital security in mind. You should ensure your online accounts and digital devices are as protected as possible while on holiday.
Before you take your vacation, you might want to consider taking some extra security measures. Here are some christmas cyber security tips that could help limit the damage if the worst happens:
Back-up your devices
Backing up your devices is never a bad idea. If your phone or tablet goes walkabout, you can restore your treasured photos, messages, and music collection on another device. Back-up methods vary depending on the device but are rarely tricky—a quick online search for your device model and "how to backup" will give clear instructions.
Review and approve software updates
Software updates are often overlooked because they only take a few minutes, but failing to update software makes it easier for hackers to access your private information and can lead to identity theft, money loss, and more.
Software updates can include new features, better compatibility with different devices or applications, and make the software more stable. Software updates are aimed at making your user experience better and more secure. Make sure you approve all software updates, including those you've been snoozing for a month (no judgment – we've all been there). Updates often include fixes to security issues, so you'll get the best possible protection by staying on top of your device and software updates.
Deactivate functionality when not in use
Turn off the wireless features on your phone when you're not using them, especially in public places, as leaving them on may make your device more vulnerable to hackers. Be aware that many computer break-ins are a result of people taking advantage of security holes or problems with programs. Unnecessary programs can open up opportunities for others to use, break into, or take control of your computer.
Be cautious, if possible avoid using public devices.
Always be aware when using public devices such as computers or tablets. You never know who else has used them before you or what nasty surprises (viruses and malware) they have left you. This is especially true if you log into essential accounts such as online banking, email, or social media.
If you have to check personal accounts online on a public device, log out of the account and clear your browser history before leaving. When you next have access to a secure device, consider changing the password for any account that might be vulnerable if accessed by other people. A password manager will make this process much more convenient and easier.
Always be cautious where you connect.
Suppose you consider connecting your phone to a rental car's hands-free calling system or syncing it with the car's music. In that case, the rental company (plus any subsequent drivers) may be able to access your address book and other data. That's one good reason to think twice before charging or syncing your devices while on holiday.
Connecting your device may ask if you want to "allow" synchronising your contacts and photos. It's okay to say no!
Decrease internet usage while you are on vacation.
Public Wi-Fi is convenient, but it's not always safe, especially when you're using it for financial transactions. If you can, avoid using public Wi-Fi. If you must use it, consider installing and using a trusted VPN software (Virtual Private Network) while connected to the Internet. A VPN creates an anonymous/private network within a public internet connection, preventing cybercriminals from seeing, tracking, or manipulating your online activities.
If you want to use your mobile device when travelling, you should consider relying on mobile data. Nowadays many mobile carriers allow customers to use their country's "minutes, texts and data" at a specific price or sometimes for free, connecting your phone to the Internet without paying exorbitant roaming fees is possible. Just check with your mobile carrier to ensure the details before you travel.
Have a lot of fun and a great holiday!
Don't let digital security concerns ruin your holiday. By taking these simple steps before enjoying your vacation and paying attention to your digital services and devices while you are away, you'll be able to properly relax, safe in the knowledge that you're as protected as possible.
Overt Software Solutions wishes you a safe journey and a wonderful holiday season!