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Normally when we travel, our primary concern is whether or not our physical items will be stolen. However, cyber-crimes are becoming more common as our world becomes more connected. As a result, your computer, phone, or tablet are increasingly at risk for hackers who want to steal your passwords, credit card numbers, or identity. To stay safe, practice these tips.
Use Theft Protection Software (TPS)
The best identity theft protection software can help you detect, prevent or recover from fraud promptly. Unfortunately, over 13 million US residents became victims of identity theft in 2019, which cost the American people $16.9 billion in damages. Identity Guard, a trusted TPS, can quickly protect you from potential fraud, alert you to suspicious activity, and potentially reimburse you. With this software, stored data, like your credit card password, remains encrypted.
How to Keep Your Data Safe While Traveling
Lockdown Your Devices
All devices have some means of locking out others from accessing them. For example, most laptops and tablets will enable you to lock it using a fingerprint ID or PIN. SmartPhones can enable multiple screen lock protocols, such as swipe, pattern, PIN, password, face, fingerprint, iris, and intelligent scan. Lockdown all your devices with a combination you don’t typically use or enable face or iris scan recognition as they’re harder to crack.
Disable Bluetooth and Auto-Connect
Devices that keep Bluetooth connectivity on are at risk of hacking because criminals will use this function to access your phone from anywhere. However, this is only a problem if your device auto-connects to a WiFi signal. Disable both connections when traveling, or only allow an auto-connection to occur if your device already knows the password, like for a hotel.
Change Passwords/Codes Regularly
Although changing your password and code regularly sounds time-consuming, it can protect you against hackers who monitor their targets long term. Password hacking software will run your phrase against multiple combinations. Changing this phrase up will cause the software to start the process over again, making your items nearly impossible to hack. To give criminals a run for their money, create a passphrase longer than 12 characters with numbers and symbols.
Don’t Use Public WiFi Without a VPN
You’ve likely heard of a VPN and how it allows its users to watch Netflix shows from foreign countries. VPNs have more uses than streaming, as they exist to encrypt your IP address and your data. If you want to use public WiFi, which can leave you vulnerable to security threats, purchase a VPN and turn it on when you plan to surf the web or send files by email.
Update All Operating Systems
New viruses and malware are created every day. Your software and operating system located on all tech devices with access to the Internet must stay updated to stay safe from hackers. Software and app companies will usually update throughout the month when they find a breach in their security. Pay close attention to apps that you use for conducting business matters or sending files, as the company you work for, along with client data, could be at risk.
Use Anti-Virus Software
Theft protection software is convenient, but your data becomes even more secure when used with antivirus software. The right antivirus software can destroy malicious viruses that were made to steal your data, like malware, and create a firewall that filters out threats. In addition, antivirus software must stay current to stay secure, so turn automatic updates on.
Stop Using Location Sharing
I know what you’re thinking “how am I going to get around if I don’t use my GPS?” You can use your GPS while traveling from one location to another, but turn it off if you’re using public WiFi or have your device connected to social media. If your Instagram or Facebook has location-enabled, it will update on these sites, but hackers can simply use this function to know where you are. With this info, criminals could sneak into your hotel or home and steal from you.