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Cybersecurity Tips for a Hack-Free Vacation

Cybersecurity Tips for a Hack-Free Vacation
Cybersecurity Tips for a Hack-Free Vacation
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Summer is a prime time for business owners and employees to take a much-needed vacation. Despite activating the “out of office” email responder, many people still check in on work periodically. However, working outside the office—even for a quick email check, connecting to Wi-Fi at a café, or working during business trips—can lead to significant cybersecurity risks.

If you or your employees plan to access emails from the airport or network documents from a hotel lobby, it's crucial to follow robust cybersecurity best practices to protect your company's network from nearby hackers.

 

Why Cybersecurity Matters While Traveling

Cybersecurity might not top your vacation checklist, but neglecting it can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. Cybercriminals are aware that summer is an opportune time to strike, as people tend to lower their guard while on vacation. Most vacationers prioritize enjoying their time off over adhering to cybersecurity best practices, making them easy targets for hackers.

To minimize the risk of a cyberattack while traveling, here are essential best practices to cover with anyone on your team who might connect to the Internet while away.

 

Before You Go

  1. Protect Your Devices: Always lock your devices using a PIN, passcode, fingerprint, or facial recognition. If you haven’t set this up yet, do so before you travel. Unlocked devices can give unauthorized access to your private information.
  2. Enable "Find My Phone": This feature helps locate your device if it’s lost and allows you to remotely wipe data or disable the device if it falls into the wrong hands.
  3. Update Your Software: Make sure your operating system, web browsers, and apps are updated to the latest versions. Outdated software can compromise your device's ability to defend against malware.
  4. Back Up Your Data: Ensure that all your important data is backed up. If your device gets lost or damaged, you’ll need a copy of your data to restore it.



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While Traveling

  1. Enable Multifactor Authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a text message code, authenticator code, or fingerprint scan. Enable MFA for all accounts with sensitive information before you leave.
  2. Avoid Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient but are also hotspots for cybercriminal activity. Avoid using unprotected networks whenever possible. (Yes, that means no checking your email on the beach unless you have a VPN!)
  3. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN encrypts your internet connection, ensuring your data is secure even on public Wi-Fi networks. Set up a VPN on your devices before you leave and use it whenever you access the internet.
  4. Disable Auto-Connect Features: Some devices automatically seek and connect to available wireless networks. These features can expose your devices to cybercriminals if you connect to the wrong network. Disable this option to ensure you only connect to trusted wireless and Bluetooth networks.
  5. Manage Location Services: Location tools are helpful for navigating new places but can also expose your location to criminals. Turn off location services when not in use and limit how you share your location on social media.

     

Taking these simple precautions can help you keep your devices secure, allowing you to relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about cyber issues when you return to work.

However, it's important to recognize that these steps aren't foolproof. To truly ensure your company's cybersecurity is up to standard, it's essential to work with a professional IT team that can monitor your network 24/7, patch vulnerabilities as they arise, and alert you to any suspicious activity.

 


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Teknologize is a SOC 2 certified, Professional Technology Services company with clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. We have offices located in:

  • Tri-Cities, Washington 509.396.6640

  • Yakima, Washington 509.396.6640

  • Bend, Oregon 541.848.6072

  • Seattle, Washington 206.743.0981

Questions about your IT or Cybersecurity? Give us a call today!

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