At long last, the world has begun opening up, and people are feeling secure enough again to begin traveling. For the first time in a long time, June saw over 2 million air travelers in a single day.
With nearly half of the country fully vaccinated against COVID-19, many families are now planning a long-awaited vacation. If you’re one of them, make sure you don’t forget about tech security in the excitement of finally getting a taste of pre-pandemic life.
Technology is a common companion on vacation. Everyone brings their phones with them to take photos and videos. Travelers also often bring laptops and tablets. But if those devices are left unprotected or get lost or stolen, you could be returning to find your bank account empty, and your online accounts breached.
It’s important to have the proper technology safeguards in place to keep your data secure when you’re connecting to various hotel and airport Wi-Fi and taking your electronics out of their normal environment.
We’ve got several important tips below that you can use as a checklist when preparing for your trip to ensure everything goes smoothly with your electronic gadgets.
Back-Up All Devices Before You Leave
1 in 10 people will lose their smartphone while on vacation. You want to be prepared for the worst, so assume that your devices may be lost or stolen.
Before you leave on your trip, back up all devices to a secure location, either on-site or in the cloud. That way, you may have lost the hardware, but all your files will still be safe and accessible with the ability to restore them to another device.
Turn on Additional Security (Like Ransomware Protection)
Operating systems like Windows 10 often have additional security you can turn on. Some users don’t know it’s there or leave it off because it might inconvenience them.
You want your laptop as secure as possible when traveling, so turn on features like Ransomware Protection in your settings. This setting stops anything except for approved programs from making any changes to your files.
Keep Your Laptop With You, Not in a Checked Bag
If you’ve ever been at baggage claim and saw a suitcase with broken wheels or duct tape holding it shut, you have an inkling of what can happen to checked luggage. When being moved from an airport to the cargo hold of a plane and back, it can go through a rather rough trip.
To ensure devices aren’t stolen en route or damaged, it’s best to keep them in your carry-on with you on the plane instead of putting them in a checked bag.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Connecting to public Wi-Fi is particularly dangerous. Hackers are notorious for using man-in-the-middle techniques to spy on the data transmissions of other users on the same free network.
Using a VPN can ensure your connection isn’t compromised. The VPN service routes your internet connection through its servers and encrypts the data before it gets to the internet.
Using a VPN will allow you and your family to connect securely over free and public Wi-Fi.
If You Don’t Have a VPN, Use Your Phone’s Hotspot When Logging Into Anything
You have to assume that anything you type in when on public Wi-Fi can be seen by someone else. So, you definitely do not want to go to your online banking or Amazon account and log in.
If you aren’t using a VPN, then follow these steps to securely connect through your mobile carrier connection if entering any sensitive information online like a credit card number or password.
- Turn off the Wi-Fi on your smartphone.
- Turn on your phone’s hotspot (make sure it’s secured with a passcode).
- Connect your laptop or tablet to your phone’s hotspot.
- You’ll now be off the public Wi-Fi and on a more secure connection.
Turn Off All Sharing Features
You don’t want strangers to be able to get to shared folders on your device, so it’s important to turn off any sharing features you may have enabled before your trip.
Ensure You have Screen Locks on All Devices
A screen lock can give you just enough time to wipe a device remotely if it’s stolen. Ensure all your mobile devices and any laptops you have with you have a screen passcode enabled.
Put Two-Factor Authentication on All Logins
Two-factor authentication is one of the most powerful ways to protect your accounts. It can be as much as 100% effective, depending upon the attack type and method used.
Those few extra seconds it takes to receive and enter the 2FA code are well worth the additional account security you get since 2FA can keep a hacker out of your online account even if they have the password.
Connect With an IT Pro You Can Call in an Emergency
There’s no need to struggle and waste a beautiful vacation day if you have a technology issue. You can connect with Quantum PC Services remotely if you need some immediate help with anything from email to a suspected virus infection.
Our remote support gives you a safety net when away from home when it comes to keeping your technology running smoothly.
Need Help Preparing Your Devices for a Trip?
Quantum PC Services can help your Sturgeon Bay area family get your devices properly secured before your big trip.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.