Tips to Stay Secure on Summer Vacations

Pierluigi Paganini July 07, 2017

In the excitement of summer vacations, most of us forget to equip ourselves with the privacy tools and needed security measures. Yet, such flawed data security could ruin your vacations as the cyber goons always remain on work.

Therefore, here we have listed some essential steps that are must to secure your sensitive information you carry with yourself while traveling.

Don’t Divulge the plans for your summer vacations

In the era of the globally connected smart world, internet users often share their personal experiences on their social accounts. Yet, these people who are connected with us through our social accounts are not the one to whom we are closely familiar with.

There are some common concerns and security tips while using your social account and sharing personal details on it. You may wait until you return from the vacations to upload the pictures or your location updates instead of confessing at the spot. However, the ones who are making such divulgence are providing cyber thefts a real-time opportunity to exploit your sensitive data.

The security expert Graham Cluley says;

“Social networks are great fun, and can be advantageous but people really need to understand that it’s a complicated world and you need to step wisely.”

“People should just exercise common sense online, but the problem with common sense is that it’s not very common. If you wouldn’t invite these people into your house to see your cat, you certainly wouldn’t let them see pictures from holiday.”

To remain secure, there are few tips you should follow while traveling;

  • Make your post visible to the people you know and not let them on public display.
  • Disable the GPS feature from your phone and social media accounts.
  • Don’t provide check-ins to your places such as Hotels, Airport, and others.

Keep Your Devices and Web Browsers Updated 

Updating your devices and web browsers is a consistent advice from security experts as a precaution to avoid security flaws and cyber attacks. Unpatched devices are at a risk of vulnerability exploitations which could be averted through updating your systems and devices.

Carrying devices such as Smartphones, laptops, and tablets make your vacation more happening, joyous and memorable. Yet, they could cause trouble when their systems are outdated.

summer vacations

Infosec Analyst Yasin Soliman says;

“Don’t forget to check the browser software installed on your devices. The ever-increasing uptick of web-based services for work and play means it’s vital that your web browser remains safe and secure when traveling.”

A recommended privacy measure also includes secure browsers that you should have on your devices.

Turn off the Wi-Fi devices Not in Use

You should turn off all the Wi-Fi connections at home when going to the vacations. Keeping that Wi-Fi on could provide an opportunity to cyber criminals who could easily exploit vulnerabilities in an open the vacations. Keeping that Wi-Fi on could provide an opportunity to cyber criminals who could easily exploit vulnerabilities in an open Wi-Fi.

Communications director of the Internet Education Foundation, Danielle Yates says,

“An open and unsecured network can be accessed by anyone within range and, further, if communications are not secure, it’s possible someone with malicious intent could intercept emails or even view private files and records.”

However, you must make sure that all the IoT devices in your house are disconnected from the internet. Also while traveling you should avoid public Wi-Fi connections that could be harmful to your device’s security.Also while traveling you should avoid public Wi-Fi connections that could be harmful to your device’s security.

Disable GPS When Not Necessary

While on vacations most of the people are new to the places they want to visit. Therefore, they often enable GPS for directional help and leave it on. Yet, such excitement could expose you to the vulnerability and security threats.

Kim Crawley, Information security writer says;

“While on holiday, only turn GPS on your phone or tablet when you need to use it. Not only will you save your battery; you’ll also be more difficult for an attacker to geolocate. This advice also applies to when you’re not on holiday. There are a lot of websites, apps, and online services these days that’ll ask for your geolocation to be enabled. Never enable it unless you absolutely must.”

Government Accountability Office said,

“Specifically, they are concerned that location data can be used for purposes other than to provide services to the consumer, such as selling the data to others for marketing. They also have concerns that location data can be used to track where consumers are, which can, in turn, be used to steal their identity, stalk them, or monitor them without their knowledge. In addition, location data can be used to infer other sensitive information about individuals such as their religious affiliation or political activities.”

USB Outlets Should be Avoided

To attract the travelers and visitors most of the hospitality industry organizations such as Hotels provide the facility of USB outlets to charge their devices. However, if you are one of the travelers it’s never a great idea to charge your device from such outlets.

The owner of Sherpa Intelligence LLC, Tracy Z. Maleeff elaborates the reason of this as;

“These ubiquitous ports could possibly do harm to your devices rather than just charge them. Unlike a regular outlet plug, charging via a USB plug could result in a transfer of data from the port to your device. Why risk having malware loaded onto your device when you only wanted a charge?”

To overcome these problems you could use alternatives such as phone charger or a regular wall outlet.

Follow Basic Security Precautions

The previously discussed privacy measures are necessary to follow while being on vacations. Also, they are especially applicable while traveling but there are some basic online security precautions you must follow as a primary layer of defense. Without these, you could be in trouble.

David Jamieson, a Cyber Security individual described some of these measures;

“If ever there is a time to encrypt your laptop, ensure your files are backed up or stored in the cloud, turn on your firewall, confirm your anti-virus and anti-malware applications are up-to-date, and use complex passwords for your web accounts, THIS IS THE TIME. Criminals do NOT let down their guard; rather, they constantly work hard to steal from us.”

So, keeping yourself vigilant could save you from data thefts. Basic privacy measures such as avoiding public Wi-Fi, using secure browsers and software updates should be among your highest concerns while exploring the world.

Have a Pleasant Journey

Being data security literate just require some simple techniques to remember. Yet, such minute incentives could exempt you from the unease of being prone to vulnerabilities. With your data being secure, you could have a much joyous experience of swimming, camping, and the sunbath.

peter-buttlerAbout the Author: Peter Buttler is a Professional Security Expert and Lecturer. He serves as a Digital Content Editor for different security organizations. While writing he likes to emphasize on recent security trends and some other technology stuff. You can follow him on Twitter.



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Edited by Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Summer Vacations, cybersecurity)

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