Electronic Safety – Cybersecurity on Vacation
Image by Gustavo Molina
For some travelers, taking a vacation means disconnecting and enjoying a break from the constant digital connection that typifies modern life. However, most people tend to enjoy bringing their various devices with them on vacation, and many people who travel for business require a mobile office. Whatever the reason, traveling with electronic devices has become increasingly common, and as a result, the threat of cyber crime has escalated. Practicing good cybersecurity is the best way to prevent issues such as catastrophic data loss or identity theft.
Before the trip, spend some time backing up data and downloading the latest security software. Most modern devices have access to anti-theft programs that can remotely delete data and track stolen property. In addition, be sure to set up password protection on every device, including smartphones, as thieves are often just as interested in personal information stored on the device as they are in the device itself. If you plan on accessing the Internet while abroad, you may also want to set up a VPN connection or arrange for a portable cellular hotspot, which provides protection against people attempting to steal data over public Wi-Fi. Of course, you should always stay up-to-date with the latest security updates to operating systems and use a good antivirus program.
While traveling, remember to be discrete about using your device. If you aren’t using them, you should store your portable devices in the hotel room’s safe. It’s also generally a good idea to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth receivers when they are idle, as these can be avenues for cyber attacks. Furthermore, remember that your cybersecurity does not end at your personal devices, it requires paying attention to all Internet usage. Never enter personal information into public computers, which can be easily set up to steal these details. Finally, wait until you return home before talking about your vacation on social media, as these posts often serve as an open invitation to criminals seeking to break into empty homes.