We all know the drill before going on a long trip or vacation. Stop the mail and newspaper. Find someone to watch the house and pets and make sure that everyone has everything packed.
Depending upon where you are going, you will undoubtedly double check to see that the kids have their swimsuits, extra shoes and more than two pairs of underwear. Have everyone’s medicines? Sunscreen and bug spray? Car oil and tires checked? The list can get long quick! But have you considered cyber safety in your meticulous preparation for a fun and safe adventure?
Whether you’re in big crowds at an amusement park, staying at hotels, or simply on a road trip, adjusting your cyber safety practices is key to protecting your family while on the go. Turning your home computer off isn’t enough to keep your identity and finances safe while you’re away. Likely, the family has brought their gadgets with them, from cell phones and laptops, to tablets and handheld gaming systems. For some great safety tips when traveling, we’ve turned to the best cybersecurity professionals in the world, the members of (ISC)², and asked them what they do when they travel. Here is their list of Top Tips:
Cyber Safety Tips for Traveling
- Check for system and antivirus updates on your mobile devices before leaving. Apply them.
- Enable passcode features on all mobile devices to ensure thieves are locked out in the event devices are stolen or misplaced.
- Disable or turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your phones and tablets when not in use.
- Only connect to public Wi-Fi hot spots which require a password given to you by the establishment. Don’t just use the free open Wi-Fi!
- If you must connect to open, public Wi-Fi, keep your session short, and never make sensitive or confidential transactions.
- Keep your mobile devices with you at all times in a secure location. Better yet, if you really don’t need all of them, don’t take them so you don’t have to worry about them being stolen from your hotel room or left in a rental car. Most hotels have a safe you can put them in while you are out.
- Turn off the geo-tagging feature on your camera’s photo settings so GPS coordinates are not recorded in your pictures.
- Share your photos and updates with friends and family after your trip. Otherwise, you are advertising to everyone you are not home and that your house is vacant.
- Notify your credit card company that you will be traveling and learn of any special instructions (local number to call in another country) should there be issues with your card while traveling.
- Be wary of public USB charging stations. Bring your own chargers and use them while in your hotel or car.
For more quick tips on keeping your devices safe and secure while you’re away, check out the Center’s travel tips video.
About the author: Patrick Craven is the director for the Center for Cyber Safety and Education (Center), a non-profit charitable trust committed to making the cyber world a safer place for everyone. The Center works to ensure that people across the globe have a positive and safe experience online through their educational programs, scholarships, and research. Visit www.iamcybersafe.org. If you have questions or topic ideas please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.