Cyber Security Tips for Holiday Travelers
November 28, 2016
How to Keep Your Devices and Data Safe While on the Road
Oak Ridge, N.J. – November 28, 2016 – According to the United States Department of Transportation, travel to a destination 50 miles or more away from home increases by 23% during Christmas and New Year’s compared to the remainder of the year. Many Americans traveling to visit family and friends domestically or internationally during the holiday season will bring their mobile devices which puts them at more risk of a cyber security breach.
“Internet-enabled devices have become invaluable travel companions, but they can make you vulnerable to cyber-based threats,” said Ronald Schwarz, Sr. Executive Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer of Lakeland Bank. “Helping our customers protect their personal information is one of our priorities, and we want them to understand the importance of taking precautions to keep their devices, data and identity safe while on the road over the holidays.”
Here are six tips to add to your travel list to make sure your trip isn’t interrupted because of a cyber security issue:
Keep software up to date
Software and operating systems often have updates that are important to install as soon as they come out. Updates will help protect your devices from viruses and malware by providing additional features and security. These updates do take time to install, but they can save you time and money in the future if your information is comprised. Also, remember to backup your device before you travel!
Don’t use public WiFi
While convenient, public WiFi is anything but secure. Someone could be looking over your shoulder and monitoring your keystrokes as you type in passwords or other personal information. It’s even easier to steal this information if it’s stored on a mobile device. Rather than using public WiFi, use your 3G or 4G data plan since these networks are more secure.
Turn off Bluetooth
Bluetooth allows your phone to automatically connect to other devices. When your Bluetooth is on, people can eavesdrop on your conversations, steal your information or install malicious software. By keeping this feature turned off, you’ll only connect to other devices when you want to.
Use your phone’s security features
Most phones have built-in security features that make it harder for people to access the information stored on your device. GPS locating apps, like Where’s My Droid and Find My iPhone, are great tools to have installed so in the event your phone is lost or stolen while traveling, you would be able to remotely track, locate and wipe it clean from another computer or device with Internet access.
Keep an eye on your phone and other electronic equipment
The best way to prevent your device from being stolen is to keep a watchful eye on your device. Don’t leave it unattended! Your phone likely contains a lot of personal information and you don’t want that in the wrong hands.
Enable a PIN
Lock your device with a password…it’s the best way to keep the data on your smartphone secure! This four-digit code is enough to deter most hackers except the most determined. If you don’t use a PIN on your phone and it’s lost or stolen, whoever has it will be able to access all your apps and data, including your bank accounts if your login is stored on your device. Apple’s TouchID, which uses your fingerprint to unlock your phone and log into certain apps, is a secure substitute for a PIN and passwords.
For more information about cyber security and identity theft, visit Lakeland Bank’s Simply Speaking blog.