It’s officially summertime!
That means it’s time for barbecues, pool parties, and most importantly, vacations.
But here is the real deal, hackers do NOT take time off. Instead, they use your vacation time as a window of opportunity to exploit your data.
So, before you catch that plane, put on your cybersecurity hat. To get you started, here is a cybersecurity checklist: vacation edition.
Before you Leave the Office:
Let the IT department know you’ll be out of the office.
Of course, you want to let your team and higher-ups know that you’re going on vacation. But it is also a brilliant idea to tell the IT department. Your IT team can help you secure your workstation before you leave. Also, if a coworker needs access to your accounts, the IT team can help set up temporary credentials for them.
Set up an out-of-office email.
Don’t put too much information in your OOO email.
Cybercriminals can use information in out-of-office emails to understand when you’ll be away from the office. That time is like gold to them because it is when your accounts may be more vulnerable.
Instead, your email should only serve as a reminder that you’re away and will respond when you return.
Secure your workstation.
First, never write down your passwords, and NEVER leave posted notes of your passwords lying around your workstation.
Make sure to log out of all devices, as well as websites and applications. Should anyone gain access to your devices, they won’t have a free pass to any sensitive information.
Finally, turn off and unplug every device you won’t be using.
Before you Leave the House:
Finish essential internet tasks before you go.
Vacations should be comfortable and relaxing! Download all the movies, music, and books you’d like to have access to before you leave for your trip.
Not only does this make your trip more relaxing, but you won’t be tempted to log in to less safe internet access points while you’re away.
Shut off devices that are staying at home.
Like securing your workstation, take the time to secure your home devices. If it’s not going on your trip or essential to the home, turn it off.
Let a trusted neighbor know you’ll be gone.
It’s never a bad idea to let a trusted friend know you’ll be away. They can keep a half-eye on your home if suspicious activity occurs.
While on Vacation:
Keep your vacation on the down low.
Never announce your departure or vacation dates on social networks. By sharing your agenda or location on social media, you are allowing criminals to keep track of where you are.
Post your vacation pictures after you get back. If you want to keep your loved ones updated on your whereabouts, we recommend you text them instead of using social media.
Only use password-protected Wi-Fi.
This tip is critical, especially if you’re traveling abroad this summer. Other countries don’t have the same regulations on public Wi-Fi as the US (and public Wi-Fi even in the US isn’t particularly safe).
If you absolutely must connect to the internet, use a secured network that requires a passcode to use it.
Leave devices in your hotel room’s safe.
This rule should go without saying, but you should not leave devices lying around your hotel. If you’re going out, put your unneeded device in the safe and lock it up.
Final tip before your leave…
Now that you’re cyber-prepared – make sure you enjoy your vacation!
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