As summertime approaches, individuals and families will begin planning vacations, focusing on health and physical activity, and enjoying some warm weather by bodies of water. During this exciting time of the year, our minds are centered around ways to get out, rest, relax, and have fun! Things like technology are low down on our priority lists and cybersecurity is likely nowhere near our radar. Despite this, malicious actors are still out there, active as ever and ready to take advantage of our cavalier attitudes toward our devices. Below are some tips to help keep your tech secure during your summer activities!
- Check what data your fitness tracker collects – Hiking, hitting the gym, playing sports, and even swimming (with a waterproof tracker) are all summertime activities that are fun and get you active. For this reason, you may want to bring your health tracker along with you to see how far you’ve climbed or what your heart rate was while playing with your kids. However, when using these devices, many apps are collecting your data; some of this data makes sense for the apps to have access to such as your heart rate for a heart rate monitor, but be sure to check the settings on each app to ensure that the data being accessed by the app makes sense and does not cross over into needless data collection.
- Do not share things on social media while on vacation – One of the things kids and parents alike look forward to the most as the days get longer with the incoming Summer season is vacation. Be it a beach trip, a cruise, mountain getaway, or weekend road trip, be sure to wait to post the pictures you take until you return home from your trip. You never know who sees your posts and if a person with malicious intentions sees that you are currently away from home, then they may target your home with some sort of criminal behavior.
- Update home security systems before going on vacation – In the same vein as the last tip, be sure that your cybersecurity systems are updated at all times, but especially before you and your family head out on vacation. The peace of mind that a home security system brings us is great, but we need to be sure to keep it secure but updating the system with any operating system patches that come up and keeping the WiFi network that your system is tied to secure as well.
- Avoid using public WiFi – One of the biggest risk factors when using your devices while traveling is connecting to unsecured Internet connections. The airport and hotel WiFis are public connections to the Internet and when you link your devices to them, you leave all of the data you access on said device vulnerable to being accessed by others who are using the same network. When possible, try to instead utilize your smartphone as a hotspot or use your data plan. If you must use public WiFi, be sure not to access any PII such as your banking information.
- Secure your devices while traveling – While traveling, it is important to keep your devices packed away unless they are in use so that you do not risk misplacing them. Additionally, be sure that all of your devices are password protected so that in the event someone does gain unauthorized access to your physical devices, they are unable to view your private, personal data.
- Protect devices by the water – Another quick physical protection that should be considered is protecting your devices from the water. When venturing off to the beach or pool this year, be sure to keep your devices far from the water. Consider bringing a waterproof bag along with you to keep your technology safe from any splashes.
Taking these simple tips into consideration can help you to enjoy your summertime without worrying about your cybersecurity.
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