Current technologies allow us to stay always connected, also when on holiday. But which are the risks in terms of cybersecurity? Our information protection and cybersecurity experts have drawn up a short list of best practices to follow to protect both your devices and data while on holiday.
Before leaving, make sure to update the software of your device. Consider removing old applications you no longer use.
Disable your Bluetooth when not in use. Besides saving battery of your mobile device, you will make sure there will be no attacks through this channel.
If possible, avoid using public Wi-Fi hotspots, or in any case be careful when you need to use them. Lacking cryptography, cybercriminals can find out which information you send or receive. If you need to use it, prefer a simple use, such as browsing websites that provide general information, avoiding accessing your accounts - imagine that everything you digit is monitored by someone. Never access your online banking or websites requiring your credit card data.
If you need to use a public Wi-Fi, better use a VPN when possible. A VPN creates a tunnel of data between the local network and your device, making it an integral part of your office network. The use of a personal VPN will keep your data encrypted and protected from interceptions.
Choose a strong password to protect your device, which can easily get lost or stolen. In the unlucky case your device goes missing, having a PIN set will prevent criminals from accessing your physical device and steal personal data. To date many mobile devices have a fingerprint scanner in addition to the PIN code. Use it as a further protection, it works!
Encrypt your device. Similarly to setting a PIN, encrypting your device allows to have an additional level of protection for your data, in case someone has access to your physical device.
Use the GPS tracking tool provided by the device producer (Android, iOS). In case you lose your device, this makes possible to locate it and even erase it remotely, if you are concerned about losing your data. Those who have an Android device can use the Android Device Manager or the “Find my device” app, both linked to the personal Google account, whereas Apple users can use “Find my iPhone”, linked to the Apple ID.
Before disconnecting from your domestic or office network, set up all applications you will need during your holidays. For example, if you will be using Booking or Amazon, make sure that the relevant accounts and payment information are set up. Not only you will avoid transmitting payment data while you are away, but you will also stop anyone from reading your credit card number when you digit it.
Turn on 2FA (two-factor authentication) for all applications supporting it. Many, such as Facebook, Gmail and Dropbox already use this kind of authentication.
If you need to use your mobile device as a personal hotspot, make sure that the hotspot name will not reveal any personal data, use a strong password and check the number of devices connected, to be sure that no one else access your connection. Turn off the hotspot as soon as you finish using it with your laptop or other device connected.