Practicing online safety should not be limited to the home or work office. Cyber attacks can happen when you are traveling as well, which is why it is important to practice safe online behavior wherever you go. By accessing the Internet while traveling, you are creating cyber risks that could be detrimental to your personal finances or information.
Common cybersecurity threats that can happen while you’re traveling are unsecured wireless networks, public computers, ATMs, or other devices that have already been compromised and/or physical theft of personal devices. By following a few simple steps recommended by the Department of Homeland Security, and enhanced by GraVoc’s Information Security Department, you can decrease your chances of becoming a victim of cyber-crime while on vacation or on the go.
Before you leave
Backup information – A good practice before you leave on vacation is to backup all valuable information to a cloud-based service or another device. This includes contacts, photos, videos, emails and anything else that may be of value to you.
Update your mobile software – Keep your mobile device updated with the latest operating system and applications. This will decrease the possibility of a successful attack or malware.
Keep your device locked – Make sure to use strong PINs and passwords. Even if you step away from your device for a few seconds, make sure it has the proper security to prevent your information from being destroyed and to prevent theft.
While you’re there
Stop auto connecting – Some devices will automatically connect to an available network connections. Make sure to disable this feature and any Bluetooth seekers that may be turned on. By turning off these features you are ensuring that you are only connecting to wireless networks and Bluetooth devices that you actually want to.
Think before you connect – There are many ways that attackers can steal your data and hack your passwords just by simply connecting to a network. Before you connect to a public network, make sure to confirm with the appropriate staff that the network you are about to join is legitimate. Stay away from online shopping, banking or sensitive work while on a public network. Also, do not click or download any suspicious links that you may receive.
Guard your devices – A good practice is to never leave your devices unattended in public. Make sure you secure your devices whether in a taxi or in the airport.
Don’t be overly trusting – Be aware of your surroundings and don’t fall for any social engineering techniques.
When you return
Monitor account activity – Although you should be routinely reviewing your statements for suspicious activity, upon returning from your trip you should take additional precautions. If one of your accounts was compromised, catching it as early as possible is the best way to limit potential losses so monitor activity closely and report any suspicious transactions!
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