Be Cybersecure on Your Next Trip

May 24th, 2021

It is fun to plan for a vacation. The anticipation of visiting new places, family and friends can be exciting. When making your plans, consider how – or if – you are going to stay connected digitally, and cybersecure, while away from home. Here are things to consider to help you remain safer and secure online.

Planning Your Trip

  • Pack Light – The more devices you take with you the more risk you open yourself up to.
  • Password Protection – Make sure all your digital devices require a password and/or some type of biometrics (like a fingerprint or face scan) to unlock them. This includes your laptop and tablet as well as your mobile phone.
  • “Find My Phone” – Set up the find my phone (and other devices) feature on the devices you plan on taking with you. You can then disable a device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
  • Update or Enable Privacy Settings – While you are away from home, you should limit with whom you share your information. Check your apps as well as your internet services.
  • Update Systems & Software – All your device apps and systems should be up to date. This lowers the hacking vulnerability of your device(s).
  • Back It Up – Back up your information on your devices. Should something happen to that device, you can recover more quickly.

On Your Trip

  • Beware Before You Share – Think before you share – post memorable moments when you return from your trip. Bad actors look for opportunities when you are away from home.
  • Location, Location, Location – Turn off location services when not in use; these tools are helpful in navigating a new place, but can also expose your location (even photos!).
  • Stay Connected - Wi-Fi hotspots are convenient, but not secure. Make sure to use a virtual private network (VPN) connection on your phone and other mobile devices, to ensure that you are connecting securely.
  • Securely Idle – Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth services on your phone when not in use. These services can connect and track your whereabouts when active. Another setting to disable is the auto-connect feature for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
  • Sharing is Not Caring – If you must use a public computer in a hotel or other public location, limit the information you enter. Don’t log into accounts like email, banking, or social media and always click “logout” when you are finished. Clicking the “X” to close the browser or application, does not log you out of your accounts.
  • Physical Security – Never leave your devices unattended – make sure your mobile devices are in your possession at all times and be aware of your surroundings. While walking down the street, place your mobile phone in your purse, bag or front pocket. Do not carry your device in your back pocket. If you need to leave a device in a hotel room, lock it in a safe.

Additional Resources

FCC: Cybersecurity Tips for International Travelers

ID Theft Resource Center: Travel Safe Blog

Consumer Reports: What You Need to Know About Cyber Safety While Traveling


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