6 ways to keep your data safe when travelling
Data thieves are the modern day pickpockets. Here’s how to keep your data safe while you’re on holiday.
1. Be wary of public wifi
A free, open wifi network can seem like a great find – here’s your chance to get online for nothing! But make sure it’s a reputable source, such as from a hotel, city council or restaurant. Unscrupulous types can easily set up these networks and, once you’ve logged on, quickly swipe your data. If you don't recognise the name, it’s best to stay away.
2. Think before you type
If you’re not sure about the security of a Wi-Fi network, don’t put in any of your sensitive information. That means banking details, credit card numbers or even passwords. Save these for when you know you can trust your connection.
3. Protect your privacy
Most smart phones and tablets now have location settings built into their apps. That means that every time you update your status, log in or take a picture, your precise location is recorded and (sometimes) published. This kind of info can be very useful to cyber criminals, so the safest thing to do is switch them off. Go into your settings and look under privacy.
4. Stay alert
Sadly, most people aren’t scammed through some high tech trickery – they hand over their own information. Suspicious emails, pop ups, phishing scams and more will appear in your inbox or on your screen and ask for your details. Usually they will claim you’ve won a prize or can access some special content, but be very wary. If things sound too good to be true, they generally are. Unless you are 100% sure, don’t enter any information.
5. Stay up to date
Before you travel, make sure that all operating systems and anti-virus software is up to date on your smart phone, tablet or computer. These programs are your first line of defence against hackers, so if you are behind the times then you leave yourself vulnerable. You should also employ the best security options available, like fingerprint recognition or passcodes.
6. Back up regularly
If the worst does happen and someone manages to hack your data, you don’t want to lose everything. It makes sense to regularly back up your photos or anything else significant on an external hard drive. That way you have a second copy that will stay safe and out of reach of anyone who shouldn't be looking.