IT security - vacation

7 IT Security tips you should read before going on vacation

The summer holiday is fast approaching, and the summer vacation is a time of relaxation with friends and family, whether you are at home or exploring exotic locations inland or abroad. No matter what plans you have in the summer, this is a time for relaxation from a hectic everyday life. But this can soon be broken if you come up with a situation where your personal information goes astray.

Therefore, we want to remind you of some of the most common pitfalls in IT security that you may encounter. We’ve collected seven smart IT security tips to help you secure your data while on summer vacation:

1. Make sure to set the password / PIN on your mobile and tablet

This is your first line of defense if you were to lose or be robbed of your mobile or tablet while on vacation. If your device is password protected, it will be much more difficult for criminals to access your device. Doing this is easy and takes little time. 

2. Be aware of false booking sites

Are you planning on vacationing this summer? Make sure you book hotels on reputable booking sites. A large survey done by the EU showed that 75% of the pages showed prices that one could not trust. Such websites often write that they have collaboration and are affiliated with hotels when they are not. This can result in you being charged for hidden fees, incorrect accommodation, false reservations, etc. The safest way to avoid being scammed is to book directly through the hotel’s website.

3. Turn off wireless network and Bluetooth
Bluetooth is great to have in the car or at home where it is safe to communicate with other electronic devices. But unfortunately many of us forget to turn off Bluetooth when we go in public places, especially when we are on vacation. If your Bluetooth connection is open, anyone in the hotel lobby or in a coffee shop nearby can pick up the signal and then access your phone without notice. Therefore, it is advisable to turn off this feature while on vacation.

4. Be aware free Wi-Fi in hotels, airports and cafes

Having access to free Wi-Fi while on vacation is gold. How would you otherwise stream Netflix, read today’s newspapers or share photos from your holiday? But remember that free Wi-Fi is also public, which means that any person at the hotel or at the airport can access that account with or without a single password. Wi-Fi that is not password protected is also particularly vulnerable. A rule of thumb is that one should avoid logging on to pages with sensitive information, such as online banking or healthcare when on public networks.

But what should one do if one has to check the balance on the online bank? An easy way to do this is to use mobile data, but if you are on holiday abroad, this can usually be very expensive. Something we recommend is to get a VPN for private use.

5. Look carefully at card readers
Maybe you’re going on a road trip across Europe this summer, and need to fill up with gas at a gas station along the way. Or, you need to withdraw money in an ATM to have enough cash to shop at a local food market. ATMs and petrol pumps are targets for cyber criminals who can attach skimmers to steal bank account or credit card information, and eventually clear your bank account.

Before you swipe your card, check the card reader carefully if a skimmer is attached to the card reader. In addition, it is advisable to take an extra look around the ATM or petrol pump to check if there are small surveillance cameras nearby that point to the keyboard. These can then be intended to capture details such as your PIN.

6. Check sensitive accounts regularly
Before leaving the hotel for a day of sightseeing, be sure to check information-sensitive accounts like your online bank. Also check in when you return to the hotel. The sooner you discover cybercrime behavior, the better. But remember to log out of your accounts after use.

7. Watch the children’s internet habits during the summer holidays
Without school, homework and leisure activities, the children can often be bored in a long summer vacation, and can then spend more time in front of the screen than they normally do in a hectic everyday life. It is therefore important to talk to the children about the dangers of net abuse and cyberbullying. Guide your children to what is safe to do online and navigate them in the use of online safety. Read more at Save the Children ‘s pages around Online/Internet safety.

Follow these seven IT Security tips when you go on vacation and enjoy your holiday with safety.

More about PEDAB Security you can find HERE

We wish everyone a good summer!

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