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Summer Cyber Security Tips

Summer Cyber Security Header

Rest and relaxation are important elements in a healthy lifestyle, but vigilance is key to keeping yourself cyber-secure. Whether it’s a personal trip to an exotic beach or a business trip to a foreign city, you can’t afford to let down your guard. In fact, it may require even more caution to stay safe online. Here are a few helpful tips:

Don’t lose your data, stay protected, and relax.

While on vacation, things can get lost, misplaced or stolen. It can happen in an instant by simply forgetting your laptop on the bus or the taxi, or by being distracted chasing after your children – all while someone else is walking away with your tablet or laptop. Before you leave for vacation, make sure you back up all devices and data. Double check that all security updates are applied and finally, check your security settings.

Beware of social logins and limit the use of application passwords.

Almost every service you sign up for while on vacation now asks you connect using your social media accounts. The problem with using your social media account for these services is that you are giving these services the ability to continuously access your location, updates and personal information. Instead, consider using unique accounts rather than social logins.

Beware of what you do over Public Wi-Fi.

Always assume someone is monitoring your data over public Wi-Fi. Do not access your sensitive data, like financial information, over public Wi-Fi.  Do not change your passwords and beware of entering credentials while using public Wi-Fi.  If you have a mobile device with a personal hotspot function, consider using that instead.

If you must use public Wi-Fi, ask the vendor (such as your hotel) for the correct name of the Wi-Fi Access point and whether it has security. It is common for hackers to publish their own Wi-Fi SSID with similar names, or to create access points with common names like “Airport” or “Cafe” so your device will auto connect without your knowledge. Use the latest web browsers, and do not click on suspicious links.

Beware of Credit Card Skimmers.

It is likely that at some point during your vacation you will need to take out cash from an ATM. As simple as it may appear, this can sometimes be a damaging experience if caution is not taken. Cyber Criminals have targeted popular tourist locations for credit card skimmers, which are very small devices that steal your credit card number and PIN code. Our tip is to use an ATM inside a financial institution, rather than an outdoor ATM. ATMs inside are less likely to be compromised and more difficult for those shoulder surfers. Before placing your card into the ATM, check the card slot and PIN pad for any signs of tampering. Keep all receipts, and when you return home from your vacation, consider changing your PIN.

Before “clicking,” stop, think and check if it is expected, valid and trusted.

We like to click on things (like hyperlinks for example). Always be cautious of receiving any messages with a hyperlink. Before clicking, ask yourself – “Was this expected?”. If you are concerned, check in with the person to see if they sent you an email before you aimlessly click on something in which might be malware, ransomware, a remote access tool or a virus that could steal or access your data. Nearly 30 percent of people will click on malicious links, and we need to be more aware and cautious.


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