Traveling for the holidays? The Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods are the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year, and we often rely on technology to stay connected and entertained while we’re away. With cybercrime hitting an all-time high, there are security measures you’ll want to consider taking before hitting the road or the friendly skies to ensure your identity isn’t compromised through your smartphone, tablet, laptop and charging devices.
You can utilize the following holiday travel safety reminders to help protect your tech while you’re on the go:
Don’t post pictures or information about your trip indicating you are away from home. Similarly, don’t post vacation plans prior to your trip. These can wait until you return.
- Disable location services on most phone and computer applications and on social networks to avoid disclosing your location in a photo or posting. If a web site asks to use your location, just say no.
- Keep your operating system and any installed applications or add-ons up-to-date. Set these to auto-update.
- Ensure your tech gadgets are password protected and encrypted. This will help keep your data safe if your devices are lost or stolen.
- If a mobile device is lost or stolen, most phones have the ability to track their location remotely through built-in software or third-party apps. These often allow you to remotely delete everything on the phone if it’s lost or stolen. Checking your devices for this capability can ensure your information stays safe if the worst should happen.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi. Instead, use your mobile phone’s data tethering or personal hotspot feature, or purchase a portable hotspot from your mobile carrier.
- Avoid charging your device through a public USB port at an airport, hotel or train station. When charging, always use the power adapter.
- If traveling through an airport, keep your devices on you at all times and carry them on a plane. Putting devices in your checked luggage could leave them vulnerable if your luggage is lost or stolen.
- Limit information provided to public organizations. If a form is requesting your SSN, ask if that is absolutely required.
- Check social media privacy settings to ensure profiles are not open to the general public.
- Avoid posting birthdates and years on social media sites. This is valuable information for hackers.
- Be careful when posting specific social media information regarding daily activities, places and those involved. This information can be leveraged by cyber thieves.