Traveling is a great time to see new places and have new experiences with family and friends. And when we travel, many of us take along our mobile devices. This can put us at more risk of having our personal information stolen. When you’re away, whether domestic or international, it’s important to take precautions to keep your devices, data and identity safe. Here are 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 security features built into the phone 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 travelling, 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.
You can find more information about cyber security and identity theft in our Simply Speaking blog. We also offer information on personal banking on our website. Our Customer Service Team can be reached at 866-224-1379.