Taking a break this festive season, time to brush up on your tech security.
The bad guys don’t wait until they travel, they are refining their attacks and strategies every day, even hourly so you have to be on your game.
We are here for you if you are in doubt about your protection level or just want this stuff explained.
Our KEY TIPS include:
- Use a VPN
- Encrypt your Data
- avoid Public WiFi
- understand network location awareness
- don’t trust USB sticks
Your DEVICE refers to your laptop, tablet, phone or even external USB thumb drive or USB hard disk…
Using a VPN ?
When your device connects to a VPN it’s data is encrypted. Your office may have a VPN available or you can purchase a subscription to a VPN service.
With your data encrypted your are able to transact safely with your bank and more.
You can find out more about VPNs at PCMag
Encrypt your Data ?
Your device should be encrypted, most laptops and phones support it and if yours isn’t then just reach out and we will assist with the encryption of the hard disk.
Having your hard disk or data encrypted means that even if someone gains physical access to your device then they cannot get to the data without your encryption key or password.
Windows PC’s have Bitlocker built in for most business editions of Windows 10, Apple has their own…
Also please take care going to some countries where encryption is not allowed (eg China); they may ask you to reveal your encryption key or remove the encryption and there can be harsh penalties… Some travelers opt to simply not take their devices there or work in the cloud on disposable devices… These countries can be a bit of a hassle, there are many blogs that deal with travel to these destinations in much more detail than we can here – the tip here – open your eyes, do a bit of research.
Public WiFi ?
If you don’t know how the WiFi is setup you cannot trust it and should only use it if your device has a VPN connected. It’s usually better to use your Cellular Data from your Telephone Company.
Network Location Awareness ?
This is mainly a Windows thing. When you connect to a new network Windows may offer to make your device discoverable on that network.
If you don’t trust the network then always decline this offer as this keeps Windows built in guards up.
Public Computers ?
Using a public computer (eg internet cafe or similar) is perfectly safe for sites you don’t need to log into but be cautious when logging into sites that need your credentials.
At a minimum, if you must do this on a public computer use a browser that doesn’t store your history; Chrome is “incognito” and IE/Edge have “inPrivate” browsing. They are easy to access, if you don’t know how just google for it before you leave or ask us.
Most sites wanting your credentials will offer to remember you or offer to allow you to stay signed in… uncheck these and clear your browser history and cookies and so on just in case.
Many also forget this simple step – if you logged into a web site there will be a log off button, use it when you’re done.
USB Sticks ?
Yes the humble USB stick is a favourite technique used by the bad guys to access your device.
All they do is load them up with malware and drop them in busy places… Curious people pick them up and insert them in their computer to see what’s on them… that simple act can in many cases lead to an infection on the device.
Yes that old chestnut. Check your passwords, make sure you know them, check their security, are they strong enough… Make sure you don’t have any on bits of paper in your wallet or bags…
Checking Bank Accounts and Credit Cards while traveling ?
Most security experts advise against using Public Computers for this and if you must use your own device while travelling then please use cellular data rather than the WIFI option as you never know who else is also on the same WIFI hotspot and may be watching the data traversing it, yes it happens! You can step up your protection and connect a VPN as discussed above.
For more information just reach out.