The end of the school year brings on another peak travel season. People bringing their smartphones, tablets, etc with them while they travel to new and sometimes familiar destinations. Accessing the internet while you are away brings upon security concerns and challenges. There are ways to minimize the danger of someone obtaining your passwords and other personal information while enjoying your trip.
When you are in a hotel, coffee shop, restaurant, etc make sure that you are using the wireless network provided by the establishment. A hacker can set up a fake network for which you do not need to log into and see what sites you go into as well as seeing your keystrokes. Better yet, use a VPN such as vyprvpn, PVanish among others to shield your activity from onlookers that you do not wish to share your information with. When surfing the internet and especially when entering sensitive information, make sure that the website starts with “https”. If not, others can see which web pages you visit as well as what you type on them. When entering sensitive information absolutely make sure that “https” shows in the web address before you enter the information.
I also will suggest you disable automatic Wi-Fi connections. Before connecting to a wireless network, make sure that this it is a wireless network that you can trust.
If you use a hotel computer make sure that you log out of your accounts before leaving. Should you forget, the person using the computer after you do has access to the accounts you failed to log out of. Note some hotel computers will log you out automatically after a set amount of time. Regardless, do not save passwords on the computer if you are prompted to do so. Unselect the “yes” default where applicable to save passwords. What I always do when leaving a public computer is to clear browsing data. This includes browsing history, cookies and autofill form data. It is another layer of security. Again some hotel computers will automatically do this when you log out of your session.
When you use your phone or tablet’s 3G or 4G network the data is sent over your mobile data connection. This data usage goes against your data allowance but you are safer when doing so. You can tether your laptop to your mobile data connection but again this data usage will go against your data allowance.
Following these tips will help you to stay safe while surfing the internet while on vacation. One last thing: Don’t do banking, credit card or other financial transactions. Save it for your mobile data network if you need to do so while you are away.
If you have additional questions about computer safety or any other technology questions, I can be reached at (917) 572-3468 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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