Summer is the favorite time of year for so many folks’ – school’s out, sunny days by the pool are plentiful, barbecues are a near-nightly experience, and vacations are on the horizon! While you and your friends and family are out in the summer sun having some fun, cybersecurity is likely the furthest thing from your mind – however, in order to keep the fun times going with no outside stress, there are a few things you should consider. Below are some tips to keep in mind while you’re out in the sunshine or headed off on a family adventure.
- Backup your data
- Before heading off into the world, it is important that you backup your data on all devices that you bring with you. This allows you to feel confident that even if something happened to your device while on vacation, none of the sensitive or otherwise important information you have stored on them will be compromised. It is also advisable to do a data backup once you return from your trip so that you can upload and save all of your new memories to the cloud to cherish for years to come.
- Connect to secure Wi-Fi networks only
- When traveling, you’ll be in plenty of public spaces such as airports, restaurants, and theme parks where complementary Wi-Fi is offered. Though this seems like a nice thing to offer, do not connect to these public Internet connections where no password is given or needed. It is just as easy for a malicious person to gain access to this connection as it was for you to connect as well. Being on the same network as a hacker makes you even more vulnerable to attack, which is why public Wi-Fi is not recommended for those who can avoid it. Many folks use their wireless carrier’s data so that no connection to the Internet is required in order to access Internet-required services. Additionally, many phones offer a hot spot feature where you can essentially use your phone as a Wi-Fi router for your own and trusted family members’ other devices. If you absolutely must connect to public or unsecured Wi-Fi, be sure to not access any of your accounts; when you enter your login information, malicious actors (who may have used the weakened security of the public Wi-Fi to gain access to your device) would then see your login credentials straight from the source.
- Always use passwords for any and all accounts
- This is a tip that should be adhered to all the time, but is especially important while on vacation or out and about during the summer time because of all of the risks that are out there when exposed to public Wi-Fi. The use of strong passwords and any other password features offered by apps and sites such as multi-factor authentication or face scanning helps to further protect your personal information. The more pieces of a puzzle that need to be put together for a person to gain access to your information, the more complicated it will be for a malicious actor to take your information.
- Family safety tip: Do not post about your vacation on social media while you are away
- This tips is primarily to protect you and your family in the physical world, not so much in the online world. When you post about being on vacation while on vacation it lets others know that you are not at home and if you are in a recognizable place or you list the location, it lets them know where you and your family are currently located. This poses a risk to your home and your belongings there as well as has the potential to put you at risk if anyone with malicious intent is at the same place as your vacation. Thieves will also use the location feature on social media to see what items you have in your pictures like jewelry, expensive coolers, or devices so that they can try and steal from you. It’s great to share about your experiences, but try to wait until after you are back safe at home to do so.