Leaving Town for March Break? Don’t Forget to Review your ‘Tech-list’.
March 8, 2017
March Break is upon us and you are leaving town for a well-deserved vacation. The excitement in your household is growing as you finalize plans to visit theme parks, beaches, restaurants, shows, and other hot tourist attractions. The suitcases have been dug out of storage, passports are up-to-date, the pet sitter booked, and your device security is all taken care of. You’re ready to go!
Wait, what? Device security?
Absolutely! Think about the number of internet or blue-tooth enabled devices you might be taking with you: smart phone, tablet/e-reader, laptop, wearables (e.g. watches, fitness trackers), portable gaming devices, digital cameras. Now think about all the information (personal, business) stored on, or connected to, those devices. How would you or your family be affected if one or more of those devices was hacked or stolen? What could be compromised or lost…photos, videos, personal information, financial information?
It’s not to say that you should leave all your devices at home, but if you can’t bear to be without them then you’ve got some prep work to do before you hit the road.
- First and most importantly, back up devices and remove all non-essential files, apps, and other information. This reduces the chance of having personal information lifted or compromised if one of your devices is hacked or stolen.
- Password-protect everything that can be password-protected, and make the password(s) complex. Add 2-step authentication to accounts that offer it.
- Disable the feature on accounts that allows the browser to remember your password for you. That way, if someone gets hold of your device, they won’t have instant access to all your online accounts.
On the Road
- Resist the temptation to ‘check-in’ online every time you arrive at a new venue. You’re not only letting your known followers know where you are, but possibly even some unknown followers. When you post ‘in the moment’ you’re announcing to the world that you’re not at home, and pinpointing exactly where you (and your smart device) are at that moment in time. You’ve made yourself an easy target for thieves back home, as well as to those who target tourists. At the very least, delay posting until after you’ve left a venue so that would-be thieves lurking in the area can’t locate you.
- Turn your Bluetooth settings to ‘off’. If you don’t need it, keep it off to avoid unauthorized connections.
- Keep your Wi-Fi off until needed. Avoid ‘Hot Spots’ and only connect to a reliable, secure network. If staying with friends, relatives or at a hotel, find out what they do to secure their internet connection and ensure you connect to the right one.
One More Thing
If you have children who are active online (social media, gaming) it’s important to review these tips with them, too. Explain why it’s important and encourage them to come to you for advice if they’re not sure about something. It’s as much about keeping your family safe as it is about keeping your devices safe.
NOW you’re ready to go! Here’s to a fabulous vacation. Brag about it when you’re home safe and sound, and don’t forget to back up your devices when you return so you don’t lose those precious vacation memories!
There are no comments at this time
- Date modified: