We recently posted 5 privacy tips to help you prepare to travel safely. As we promised, here are 5 more tips to help you protect your privacy while you’re away from home with all your tech gadgets. So you can enjoy your trip and minimize the risks of theft or identity theft.
1. Watch What You Post to Social Media: Just as we warned you about broadcasting your absence before you leave home, you also have to be careful while you are away. Posting vacation photos in real time and talking up the great vacation you’re on right now is fun…but it means the bad guys could know your home is vacant.
2. Look for Secure Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi Internet access is your friend when you’re on the road, but unsecured Wi-Fi at coffee shops or hotels can be your enemy. Wi-Fi hotspots are more secure if they are password protected; if the one you just hopped on didn’t require a password, then virtually anybody could be on it with you. And no matter what kind of Wi-Fi network you are on, don’t sign in to any online accounts or enter credit card or other financial information unless you see that the URL of the website you are using begins with https. The added s means secure. With https the information you enter will be encrypted for your safety.
3. Use Extra Caution with Public Computers: If you are using a public computer (i.e., not your laptop in public) that other people will use, make sure the sign in screen for any online account you access isn’t set to save your username and password. And be extra careful to sign out of any account you use (don’t just close the browser window). You should also see if your web browser has a Private Browsing mode you can activate, so it won’t store your auto-fill information and other users who follow you can’t see your browser history. Most new browsers do have this privacy option (click through the browser menus to find it; it’s in different places on different browsers).
4. Look Out For Your Laptop: Staying in a hotel? Store your laptop in the room safe or main hotel safe if there is one. Or use a lock that can attach to the lock port found on most newer laptops to secure your laptop to the desk. Whether you have a lock or not, you should also lock your laptop’s screen when you are not using it. On Windows computers you can press the Windows key and the L key.
5. Check Your Financial Accounts: If you have your laptop, iPad or another device you can use securely, you may want to regularly sign in to check your credit card and bank account activity while you’re away. Look for any charges or changes that look suspicious (e.g., money going out of your bank account or purchases back home during the time you’ve been away).
Have a good safe time on your next trip!