Vacation time is just around the corner. It probably bums you thinking that you’ll need to stay connected during your break (checking emails, going over urgent documents, responding to coworkers…) but the good news is you can probably do it with your toes in the sand!
Disconnecting our minds is, on our minds. With the sun and the sand, it is easy to forget cybercriminals and the problems they bring, but we can’t let our guards down. Cybercriminals never go on vacation. On the contrary, we need to take into account the risks that are especially critical during this part of the year.
What security issues are important during the summertime
These days it is very common to wait for long amounts of time in airports, stations, cafes… but while you’re sipping your coffee, make sure you are careful with public Wi-Fi networks. Only connect to official Wi-Fi networks. Networks that ask you for private information give cybercriminals a Golden opportunity to access your personal data (they can even use this as a way to hijack your device). With public Wi-Fi networks, the risks are high and we must take extreme precautions.
We all enjoy snapping and uploading photos, and giving our friends the opportunity to live vicariously through our vacations while we enjoy a refreshing drink at a beachside restaurant. That is all fun and well as long as you don’t overshare. That information, combined with your public profile, could be very useful for someone who knows where you live, and that your house is empty.
It is not enough to be discreet about what you publish on social media, you also have to take precaution and disconnect the GPS in your mobile devices to prevent one of your favorite applications from betraying you and publicizing your coordinates.
If you decide to take you laptop or smartphone on vacation, don’t forget to make a back-up of everything and leave it at home. Not only can your device be stolen while you are on vacation, but you never know when you may lose it or have an unfortunate accident.
Before a big trip, many people like to download apps that will keep them occupied while they are traveling. Make sure you always download the apps from official stores! Although this is not malware-free guaranteed, Google Play and the Apple Store have security measures that make it quite difficult for malicious programs to be distributed.
Never respond to emails that ask you for bank account information. Although it is common to book hotels or buy plane tickets online, banks should never ask you for your personal information by email. Cyber delinquents use job titles and content in these alarming emails to get the response they want from you: your bank account details.
Your web browser would not alert you with those annoying messages if you were in fact surfing a secure website. Take your time, pay attention, and follow this tip!
When you click shortened links with bit.ly without looking at the website it’s taking you to, you are making a big mistake. The well-known ow.ly from Hootsuite or goo.gl from Google are both very commonly used, but they are much more dangerous than we think, like we have said on previous occasions. This summer, while you are on social media, keep this in mind and only click on secure links.
Take every security measure before you go on your vacation.If you plan on copying or sharing anything from a USB device to a computer, first scan your USB with an antivirus. Danger does not only exist on the net, it can also exist on hardware. A USB stick could be contagious.
Entrusting in a good antivirus, is the best barrier that you could put between your computer and cybercriminals. Remember: everyday 227,000 new threats are detected. We should never let our guard down, not even on vacation.
Have a fun and safe summer break!