By Kara Wright, Director of Digital Strategy
It’s high time for summer travel!
Fifty-five percent of Americans plan to take trips this year, up from 51 percent last year.
Whether you’re heading to a family reunion, taking a quick weekend getaway or flying to an exotic locale, chances are you’ll use your connected devices for planning and booking your trip and while navigating your destination.
If you practice these these travel-inspired to-dos , you will help your family have a safer and more secure summer escape.
(Learn More. Courtesy of StaySafeOnline.org)
For many, Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kickoff to the summer travel season.
This year, 59 percent of Americans plan to take warm weather sojourns – up from 51 percent last year.
Whether you’re hitting the highway and headed to the beach or flying the friendly skies to an exotic destination, the likelihood is that you will book your trip online.
Americans spend 8.7 billion minutes per month interacting with digital travel content – a 41-percent increase year over year. With various elements of your vacation literally at your fingertips, it’s important to keep all of your devices safe and secure.
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has some hassle-free, tried-and-true STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ tips to help vacationers protect themselves, their families and their extended online communities.
By following these travel-inspired “to-dos,” you can use the internet with greater confidence and peace of mind not only when planning but also while enjoying your well-deserved summer escape.
CyberTrip Advisor NCSA’s Top Tips for Gearing Up to Go
Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.
Get ready for your summer trek by fortifying your online accounts and enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device.
(72% of Americans believe their accounts are secure with only usernames and passwords, yet every two seconds there is another victim of identity fraud. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to keep your accounts secure. Courtesy of StaySafeOnline.org)
Keep a clean machine
Before you leave town, it’s important to make sure all security and critical software is up to date on your internet-connected devices. Keep devices and apps updated during travel, too. It is your best line of defense.
Make sure all devices are password protected
Bolt your digital doors and be sure to use a passcode or security feature (like a finger swipe) to lock your mobile device.
Think before you app
Own your online presence
Not everyone has to know about your travel escapades and summer fun: set the privacy and security preferences on web services and devices to your comfort level for sharing. It is okay to limit how and with whom you share information – especially when you are away.
CyberTrip Advisor NCSA’s Top Tips While On the Go
Actively manage location services
Location tools come in handy while planning your trip or navigating a new city, but they can also expose your whereabouts – even through photos. Turn off location services when they’re not in use.
Get savvy about WiFi hot spots
Do not transmit personal info or make purchases on unsecure networks like those in local cafes and hotel lobbies. Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your phone’s cellular connection as a personal hotspot to surf more securely.
Delete unused apps
Many people use apps that can be specific to a city or attraction. These apps should be deleted when no longer needed.
Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when idle
When WiFi and Bluetooth are on, they connect and track your whereabouts. If you do not need them, switch them off.
Protect your $$$
Be sure to shop or bank only on secure sites. A web address with “https://” means the site takes extra security measures. However, an “http://” address is not secure.
Never use public computers to log in to any accounts
Be extremely cautious on public computers in public places like airports, hotel lobbies and internet cafes. Keep activities as generic and anonymous as possible.
Share with care
Think twice before posting pictures that would reveal you are not home or that you would not want certain people (like your parents or employer) to see.
Post only about others as you would have them post about you
The golden rule applies online, too.
While on travel, you will probably rely heavily on your mobile devices.
Take a look at this STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ tip sheet and learn best practices for staying safe and secure online during your trip.
Taking a break from work or school this summer? Don’t take a break from online safety!
Use the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity While Traveling tip card to help you stay safe online no matter where you are
#CyberAware is a family-friendly newsletter from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).
Courtesy of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA)