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Cyber Security – Going On Holiday?

Hand holding phone at beach

Going on holiday? Here are few things to do (or not do) before you go and while you are there!

Before you Go….

Lock Down Your Computer and Clear Your Desk

Everyone needs to think about computer security these days and the day you go on holiday do this. In your office, before leaving shut down and remove all devices, and put away any sensitive papers. At your home office, shut down and disconnect any computers and remote storage devices to prevent hackers from gaining access. Think about changing the homes modem Pre Set Password!

Update and Secure All Devices

While you have ‘unlimited bandwidth’ at home, run the security patches on all your devices and update all the apps. Now is the time to get that promised off line back up done – back up all your devices and data. Check that you have the data and documents that you’re reasonably sure you’ll need while away. Unless really needed best to leave it behind. Think before you pack – do you really need all those devices? Pack only what you’ll need.

Extra cautious? Add two-factor authentication on all your devices, and have a remote wipe mobile device management feature on your smartphone. Change the passwords on sensitive accounts when you get home. Virus scan your devices for any malware or security vulnerability when you get back.

Make Use of a VPN

When on holiday or away its easy to use public networks at the airport, hotel lobby or Starbucks. This can be risky. So before you go it’s a good idea to add a virtual private network (VPN) connection to your laptop. This is an extension of a private network that includes links across shared or public networks, such as the Internet.

Basically, only access a public network with a VPN. When you are not using the network, turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and any auto-connect. Make sure you check all devices.

Don’t Use Thumb Drives

Don’t be tempted to just take a thumb drive – better to add to DropBox. Before you leave, decide what documents and data you’ll need for your trip and add to computer or add to Drop Box or similar.

When You Are On The Beach…

Think About Physical Security

Many users forget about simple physical security, there is a need to become more aware of appearance. For starters, don’t use the ‘laptop bag’ to transport your device – put in a more discreet bag or carrier. When leaving your room or bar or restaurant or taxi have an awareness of where your devices are located. Hotels have room safes – this is better than nothing! It better left in the safe than in the desk draw or on by the pool.

Be Smart, Be Discreet

Never flaunt expensive tech – it’s easy to steal and easy to sell. It make more sense not to take devices on holiday. Use your phone or iPad for browsing the web for directions and keeping tabs on the news. You don’t need all your devices to do that! Resist the temptation to take it.

If you do take it then use it discreetly and carefully. People are looking out for nice phones, iPads and computers to steal. Its not all espionage and data theft, mostly its about getting $50 for your iPhoneX.

Social Media and Telling Everyone Where You Are

Posting photos while away to social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, is just telling everyone you are not in. The world knows that it’s the perfect time to launch attacks on your digital assets or break into your house.

Try and take a break from Social Media too – post your photos and tell people what a great time you had when you’re back home.

Using Wifi and Internet Café

Be careful using local WiFi, public computers and printers at a hotel’s business centre and or local internet cafes. These should be used only in emergency or to print out local directions or restaurant details. Never access your bank account or a sensitive financial or medical site on a public computer or network.