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Summer’s in the air and I often catch myself humming the Cliff Richards number:
“We’re all going on a summer holiday, no more working for a week or two;
Fun and laughter on our summer holiday, no more worries for me and you….
We’re going to where the sun shines bright; we’re going where the sea is blue…..”
So my tickets are booked, itinerary planned and shopping list ready. All I have to do now is give my customary cyber safety talk to the family. Yup I do that you know, for I worry about my family’s safety 24/7. And if you were anything like me, you too would ensure that your gadgets don’t become the cause for spoiling your holiday. I like to sit around with the family to discuss which gadgets can be taken and which not, allowing the kids to be part of the decision-making so that they realize why we should not carry all our devices when travelling.
Wondering how gadgets can possibly be the cause for any holiday troubles?
- Loss of gadgets: If you and your family members are carrying a lot of gadgets with you, there is always the fear of losing one or two of them. Holidays are times when everyone is a bit careless and as you are not in your own home, things that get misplaced can get stolen. So it is advisable to limit the devices each one carries
- Loss of data:Many people like to stay connected even while on the move. They take advantage of free WiFi spots to surf the net, carry out transactions and check mail. These public Wi-Fi hotspots are a hotbed for identity thieves
- Loss of financial information/credit card details: While booking holidays, hotels etc. check the sites for authenticity and verify with other reviewers and users. Don’t be taken in by offers that sound too good to be true. While on holiday, use of public PCs or free Wi-Fi to conduct financial transactions can lead to loss of financial information
- Robbery: The moment you share your holiday plans online, you are leaving your home vulnerable to theft. They would have no problems planning out a theft
Mobile phones are no exceptions either. Remember that most of the security concerns associated with laptops and tablets are applicable in the mobile world too. Same goes with handheld gaming devices and iPods. In short, anything that connects to the Internet needs to be protected.
So what safeguards should you take to protect your family and data while on a holiday?
- Preferably, use hard-wired connection or a personal Wi-Fi hotspot instead of public Wi-Fi. A DSL connection is typically more secure than any free Wi-Fi network
- Have a strong password, comprising of symbols, letters and numbers, for your Wi-Fi connection
- Do not make your travel plans public on social networking sites before you leave. Remind children not to share details of the holiday with friends online.
- Check the privacy settings on each of the gadget so that they are customised to be viewed only by the user during the duration of the holiday.
- Don’t geotag your photos and customise who can view them if you’d like to share them immediately.
- Install advanced security software on all your internet-enabled devices. Select software that offers features like remote data access, remote wipe, tracking etc for phones.
- URLs beginning with ‘https’are safer but not 100% fool proof
- Turn off cookies and autofill during your holidays
- Be selective about the apps you download, particularly in the Android market
- If you think your account, phone has been hacked, change all passwords immediately
So stay safe and have a great holiday. Enjoy!!