Safe online while travelling

11 ways to stay SAFE online when you’re traveling

If you bring your phone, tablet or laptop with you when you travel, there’s one thing to keep in mind: public WiFi networks are public.

“That open Wi-Fi connection opens the door for hackers,” writes NPR’s Steve Henn. “They can get in the middle of transactions between, say, you and your bank.”

Because you’re sharing the network with strangers, there’s the risk that someone is using readily available software that snoops on what you’re doing.

“It may feel private because you’re using your personal device, but it’s not,” our Security Advisor Sean Sullivan told us last year.

Sean advises against doing anything via public WiFi that you wouldn’t want an eavesdropper to know – including logging into accounts with passwords.

Before you hit the road make sure all your devices are backed up, your applications and operating system are patched and you’re running an updated security solution on any device you can.

You can try F-Secure SAFE on up to 3 devices for free for the next month.

Here are some more tips that will keep you secure wherever you may roam:

• Don’t let your device connect to public WiFi spots automatically.
• Delete out the WiFi access points you’ve used when you arrive home.
• Log out of all your apps you don’t need while traveling.
• Lock any device you’re your using with a code that can’t be guessed.
• Be aware of your surroundings and anyone who could be trying to peek over your shoulder.
• Use a unique, strong password for each account.
• For laptops, disable file sharing and turn on the firewall, setting it to block incoming connections.
• Use a VPN (virtual private network) like Freedome if possible, which secures your connection even on public WiFi.
• Use a travel router with a prepaid SIM card for your own personal WiFi network.
• At the very least, watch for the padlock and “https” in the address bar for any site with your personal information. If they’re not there, avoid the site.
• A good general rule: Assume anything you do over public WiFi is part of a public conversation.

Cheers,

Sandra

[Image by Mario Mancuso via Flickr]

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Tuesday February 9th is Safer Internet Day this year. An excellent time to sit down and reflect about what kind of Internet we offer to our kids. And what kind of electronic environment they will inherit from us. I have to be blunt here. Our children love their smartphones and the net. They have access to a lot of stuff that interest them. And it’s their new cool way to be in contact with each other. But the net is not designed for them and even younger children are getting connected smartphones. Technology does not support parents properly and they are often left with very poor visibility into what their kids are doing on-line. This manifests itself as a wide range of problems, from addiction to cyber bullying and grooming. The situation is not healthy! There are several factors that contribute to this huge problem: The future’s main connectivity devices, the handhelds, are not suitable for kids. 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