Have a great holiday – but stay secure

The weather is getting warmer, the schools are closing down for the long summer break and thoughts turn to that longed for holiday. At last, a chance to rest up and leave all your cares behind. Well……..almost

Whilst relaxation is at the top of your agenda, criminals see this as a very productive time of year as we switch off and let our collective guard down.

Here are a few useful tips to help keep you secure and let you enjoy a little peace of mind as you pack your bags and grab those tickets.

Before you go

  • We generally post more than is good for us on our favourite social media platforms, and this includes our travel plans. If you have already posted information that helps identify where you live, posting the news that you and your family are off to Timbuktu for three weeks is a bit of a tip off for local burglars.
  • Whether you are on holiday or not, you should use privacy settings to restrict who sees your posts, limiting them to family and friends – and it’s a good idea to switch off location services whilst you are away.
  • Make sure that you have updated the operating system, apps and anti-virus to the latest versions before you leave.
  • Back up your contacts, photos and other essential data to a device you are leaving at home or to a cloud service; if your smartphone or tablet gets stolen whilst you are away you will be able to retrieve your information when you return.
  • Makes sure your devices have password, pin or biometric identification enabled.

Whilst you are away 

  • We all want to remain “connected” but beware that free Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi hotspots at airports, hotels, cafes and restaurants are often insecure. Never use a free hotspot to do banking, online shopping or any activity using confidential information. Hackers can exploit insecure Wi-Fi hotspots and steal passwords, pins etc.
  • It’s also a good idea to turn off your Wi-Fi unless you need it as your device will constantly try to connect to hotspots that may be insecure – it will also save battery. This is good advice whether you are on holiday or not.
  • Many organisations now offer USB charging points but you should avoid these if possible. Using these facilities may result in a transfer of data from the port to your device which might result in you downloading malware.
  • Remember, the risks associated with clicking on links in emails or social media, opening attachments and web browsing don’t go away when you’re on holiday. Don’t let your guard down as you lounge poolside soaking up the sun.
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