Whether you are traveling across the country for work or play, or just down the street to get some work done at your favorite coffee shop, here are some tips you can use to stay safe and secure on your connected devices while on-the -go.
- 1. Update Your Software to keep your operating system software and apps in top-notch condition and to protect your device against malware. Some hackers will wait for periodic software updates, on your phone or computer, to figure out a way to exploit weaknesses in the prior versions. So don’t get caught not updating your software!
- 2. Back it Up…Backing up information like your contacts, photos, videos and other mobile device data can help ensure that even if you fall victim to malware or another type of hack you are able to recover your important information.
- 3. Keep it Locked! If you’re not already doing this, try to get into the habit of locking your device when you’re not using it. Even a few minutes away from an unlocked device is enough time for someone to steal or even destroy your information. Get strong PINs and Passwords and USE THEM!
- 4. Avoid Auto-Connecting. By disabling your remote connectivity and Bluetooth you can add yet another layer of protection. Since Bluetooth allows your device to be ‘seen’ by or connect to other devices disabling that feature can give you greater control of the devices and wireless connections in the area that you really want to connect to.
- 5. No more Public Wi-Fi… Sorry to break it to you but public Wi-Fi like in an airport, hotel or cafe, presents a great opportunity for hacks because just anyone can join. But, if you really, really need to use public Wi-Fi be smart about it. Obtain the exact name and connecting procedures from the staff to ensure the public Wi-Fi to which you are trying to connect, is legitimate. Also, Do NOT, do any online shopping, banking or any other sensitive activity via public Wi-Fi. Just remember…your mobile network connection is way more secure, if you must do any of the things mentioned above.
- 6. If it looks suspicious, it probably is… It’s a good idea to avoid downloading or clicking on any links that look weird or are unknown to you. The same goes for emails.
- 7. Minimize Location Sharing… Ok, I know when I’m traveling with my wife we like to take a bunch of pictures and them share them on Facebook, Instagram or wherever. Be care to avoid enabling the Location Sharing on what you post (or at least keep it to a minimum). Why, you may ask? there have been several documented cases of thieves using that information to break into people’s homes, thus turning a vacation into a nightmare. Also, even while you are at a hotel or resort, sharing your whereabouts could tip-off people on-site to when you are not in your room. And of course that could lead to nefarious behavior as well.
- 8. Be Careful with Public Charging Stations…So, I get in a pinch and need a charge just like everyone else but be careful when using ones that have their own cords connected. It they have cords you use, instead of your own, avoid them. The bad guys can actually alter these stations so that instead of getting some more juice for your device, you end up basically handing over all of your devices info. It sort of like the hacks that were happening at Gas Pump Credit Card Readers, in which Identity Thieves would vandalize a card reader and replace it with a device that looked like a card reader. But, instead of paying for your gas your information would get stolen.
About the Author:
Drew Gunn is a Certified Cyber Risk Manager (cyRM) who consults with businesses and individuals on Cyber/ Data Privacy issues as well as various other Insurance Solutions. If you would like to learn more about protecting yourself or your business feel free to email Drew at [email protected].
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