It can be very tempting to instantly share the most exciting moments of your vacation with relatives and maybe make your friends a little bit jealous. That’s why we usually pack smartphones, tablets and cameras into our vacation bags and try to connect to the Internet just a few hours after reaching our destinations. Unfortunately, data roaming is often expensive, so Free Public Wi-Fi remains the primary solution for tourists. Although this scenario is very typical – it’s also risky in many ways. Here is our advice for staying on the safe side while traveling:
- Protect yourself from device theft. Device loss is still a major issue as users continue to misplace, lose or have their devices stolen. Physical security is a basic and essential first step to protecting your personal information and financial credentials. You can’t chain your smartphone to your wrist, but some countermeasures do exist. You can enable GPS tracking to locate a lost phone in addition to a remote wipe capability, which allows you to erase your data if you’re unable to find the device. This function exists in Kaspersky Mobile Security. The same is possible for tablets and even laptops.
- Have a screen-lock with a passcode to avoid letting someone physically open your device and access your personal information.
- Secure all your devices. Laptops, cameras, smartphones and tablets, are all equally susceptible to security risks. Cybercriminals will often spy on public networks to intercept data that is transferred across a link, including people’s banking credentials, account passwords or other forms of personally identifiable information.
- Set up your own VPN connection and use it while connecting via Public Wi-Fi or your hotel’s Internet – wired or wireless. Cybercriminals often use hotel internet connections to conduct malicious activities on unsuspecting guests.
- Be very cautious when using open Wi-Fi. When trying to use Wi-Fi in a café or airport, verify the public connection by asking an employee for information about the access point, including its name, and its IP address. Some malicious users create fraudulent public Wi-Fi connections with names similar to the location offering the free wireless.
Cybercriminals will often spy on public networks to intercept data that is transferred across a link, including people’s banking credentials, account passwords or other forms of personally identifiable information.
- When using public Wi-Fi, don’t log into sites that could potentially leak your identity or personal info, such as Facebook, Twitter, banking pages or sites where your credit card information is stored. If you need to access any sites with sensitive information, including social networking, online shopping and banking sites, use your cellular network instead.
- Use a reputable antivirus program on all of your devices.
- Avoid using online banking services, personal accounts or online shopping with public computers (Internet cafes, airports, clubs, hotels and libraries). These computers may have a variety of spyware programs running on them that can track and log keystrokes and intercept Internet traffic.
- Don’t leave your Bluetooth on all the time in order to avoid your information being accessed or intercepted.
- Avoid both insecure connections and roaming charges by renting a portable 3G/4G hotspot at your destination.