Are you being smart with your smartphone when traveling? As we cyber-savvy grandparents are using our smartphones and other devices while traveling with and without our grandkids, we want to prevent what happened to the lady below from happening to us and our precious grandkids. Read on and learn from our friends at Intel how to protect yourself:
While traveling in NYC, Washington DC native Lynn Cooper used the computer center in her hotel, unknowingly allowing someone to access her personal information and subsequently had her identity stolen.
Travelers such as Lynn are more connected than ever before – via phones, tablets, and smart watches – even when they are in remote or exotic locations. And while staying connected has its perks, travelers may be making themselves vulnerable to having their identity or valuables stolen.
While on vacation, many travelers use hotel or other forms of public wifi, not knowing that this can allow people to steal your personal information. And if you’re traveling with teens, chances are they’ll be posting photos to social media at every landmark you visit.
According to Intel Security’s Realities of Cyber Parenting Study, one in three children who are active on social media turn on location services for some or all of their social media account. This can alert thieves that you are not home, making you vulnerable to break-ins.
Intel Security’s Tips for Travelers
By Robert Siciliano, Online Safety Expert for Intel Security
- Back up data: If you’re taking any computer devices along, back up all their data first
- Refrain from using public Wi-Fi: At least for important transactions including purchases. Not only can thieves snatch data out of the air, but thieves will also install public computers with data-stealing gadgets. If you must use public Wi-Fi for sensitive communications, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which will scramble your data
- Check credit card statements: Credit card fraud or identity theft can occur in well under 24 hours, so don’t put off checking your card status when you come home
- Password protect: Devices left on picnic tables, beach towels and in hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft. Plus, we just lose stuff. Make sure all devices are password protected otherwise in the hands of someone else, data will be vulnerable
- Be discrete with status updates: When kids continually tell the world they are traveling for the next two weeks they are letting the nefarious know you are not home making your digs vulnerable to burglary
- Protect your devices: With idle time on their hands it’s inevitable your kids will download media to their devices that may not be secure. It’s important to keep mobiles, tablets and PCs updated with the latest version of antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and a firewall. Make sure the devices are updated with the latest version of its most secure operating system and browser