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CyberSecurity Safety Tips for Vacationing

CyberSecurity Safety Tips for Vacationing

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with a local TV station about tips and tricks for staying safe in the Cyber World while you are on vacation.  Of course it's a two minute segment and we could only touch on a few of the points that I had created to talk about.  The link to the video is HERE.

Here is the full list:

  1. Try to stay unplugged.  I know, easier said than done.  But you are on vacation to relax, so try.
  2. Use your phone on your vacation to stay connected if you are in the States, but disable WiFi and Bluetooth if you don't need it.
  3. Tether your devices to your phone for more privacy
  4. Don't connect to unknown/free WiFi
  5. If you are using the hotel's WiFi, it's safer to use it if they verify who you are. Don't always assume that the verification page is the hotel's. Enter the wrong info and make sure that it bounces you, if you connect, then call the front desk.
  6. Use https:// for the website instead of just http://
    1. Most popular websites now default to it
      1. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, MSN
    2. Look for the lock symbol in the address bar
  7. Use VPNs if necessary to encrypt all of the Internet traffic from your device.
    1. Opera Browser has it built in
    2. You can use TOR browser too.
    3. There are several third parties that can provide this, so do your homework.
  8. Install a good anti-virus on ALL of your devices. If you can get more than anti-virus, that would be better.
  9. Make sure all of your devices lock and have to have a code to open in case they get lost.
    1. Have it wipe the device automatically if there are too many attempts to break-in.
    2. Before you leave, enable device tracking and know how to get into it before you lose your device
  10. Monitor your credit card and bank accounts for suspicious activity.
    1. Have more than one credit card available in case you do have one get compromised
  11. Don't advertise on social media that you will be out of town and make sure that if you have to share a photo with someone immediately, try emailing them or texting it to them. Wait to upload the vacation pics to your social media accounts when you are headed back or after you return, so that thieves in the real world won't target your empty house.
  12. International Travel
    1. Take as few devices as possible
    2. Be aware that you may not have access to social media sites in certain countries
    3. VPN may also not work
    4. You may want to take a "burner" computer and smartphone that you don't mind doing a complete wipe and re-install of the operating system.