It’s summertime, which means you are likely making plans for a few short trips, or an extended vacation. While you make your travel plans and make arrangements for your pets and mail, keep the following tips in mind to keep your vacation worry-free.
• Don’t share your travel plans on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. You don’t want to come back from your trip to find that burglars have taken advantage of your publicly announced absence to help themselves to your belongings.
• If you want to post real-time updates, make sure only your friends and trusted contacts can see your posts. You can brag about the trip more publicly after you get back.
• If you are taking a laptop or mobile device, back it up first. You don’t want to lose all your contacts, photos, and files just because your device–whether it is a smartphone, tablet or laptop–gets stolen or lost.
• Update your software, operating system, and security tools before you leave. You don’t want to be hot with a malware attack while you are on the road.
• Beware of free public wireless networks. You may think you are hopping on to the hotel wireless or the one belonging to the airport, but it may be a rogue network setup to trap unsuspecting users. Invest in a 3G dongle for mobile broadband, or even use your smartphone’s tethering capabilities if you need to go online. If you really need to get online with an unknown network, considering using a VPN service to encrypt your online activity.
• Try to keep your device with you at all times. If you have to leave it in the hotel room, consider leaving it in the room safe so that it cannot get stolen. Or at least leave it locked so someone cannot just pick it up and start using it. It is also a good idea to install a lost device protection tool before you leave for your trip. This way you can use the GPS to find the device if it is lost, or remote wipe it to prevent data from being leaked.
Just because you are on vacation does not mean you can stop being vigilant about your online security. Practice safe surfing, don’t click on random links, and protect your devices from theft.
Have a happy summer!