We have previously mentioned the importance of strong Passwords and Backing up your Data, but what about protecting yourself and your devices while you’re away?
Whether it’s a staycation or going abroad, it’s easy to forget that protecting your devices and keeping safe online should also be on your holiday checklist, so we have a few simple tips to support you when you’re away from home.
Smartphones, Laptops and tablets will top the list of things to pack because we all want to stay connected, and there is nothing wrong with that, but devices are easy to lose and an easy target for thieves. The consequences of a loss or theft happening at home are bad enough but if abroad this will be intensified because, you are unfamiliar with reporting procedures with local Police, there’s the additional pressure of added expense on your holiday plan not to mention upset caused, especially if these devices are easily accessed and your data is stolen or has not been backed up. So be sure your devices are password protected and you have done your data backups.
When at home we have the convenience of home Wi Fi and it’s great to have the same connectivity when we are away. Public Wi Fi can be convenient but there are considerations we have to be aware of. Public Wi Fi hotspots for example, in hotels or coffee shops, might seem legitimate but are they genuine? You could be connecting to a fake Wi Fi and by doing so somebody else could access;
- what you’re working on
- your private login details
- even access your data
The best guidance is to not connect to unknown Wi Fi hotspots especially if you’re attending to private business such as banking, emails or paying for something. Instead use your 3G or 4G connectivity from your network provider which will have built-in security.
When you’re out and about, especially in busy areas such as cafes, bars or public transport, don’t leave your devices unattended or in view when not using them – it would surprise you. Instead be aware of your surroundings, who’s around you and may be watching what you are doing online, try not to have your device on show when walking around as you could risk becoming a victim of theft.
Sharing posts and photos on social media while away is a common thing to do, the problem is you can never be sure who’s going to see what you’ve posted especially as this advertises the fact that your home is unoccupied – even if it’s only for a weekend break – and you run the risk of having it broken into. This isn’t uncommon and even high-profile celebrities have fallen victim and insurance companies are now refusing to pay out if they find you’ve posted while you’re away, so this is something to be mindful of. Instead consider posting your holiday experience when you return home.
We want you to relax and enjoy your holiday and also to be able to enjoy your online experience seamlessly and safely while you’re away. The practical tips in this guide will support you with this and we have included the links below for some additional guidance.
- NCSC’s advice for keeping your smartphone (and tablets) safe
- Get Safe Online’ s article – Holiday and travel booking
Information from Police Scotland Cybercrime Harm Prevention Team