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Posted in Online Savvy | July 2013

Online security: safe travels

Online security-
We live in a very plugged-in world, so we often think nothing of taking our cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices with us wherever we go. If you can’t bear to leave your electronics at home when you’re on vacation, consider these suggested precautions for keeping them safe while you’re traveling.

  • Lock your screen. Check the security settings for your cell phone and tablet and set a password that locks your screen when it has been idle for a specified period of time. It won’t prevent your device from being stolen, but it will make it harder for a thief to access any personal information or files that you’ve saved on your phone or tablet.
  • Don’t leave your devices unattended. If you’re charging your phone at an airport recharging station, for example, make sure to keep an eye on it. Likewise, don’t leave your tablet, laptop, camera or other devices unattended—even for “just a second”.
  • Keep them disguised. If possible, carry your electronics in bags or cases that don’t necessary look like they’re meant for expensive devices. At a quick glance, thieves may not realize what’s contained inside your “non-traditional” bags. No matter what you carry your devices in, however, make sure to have contact with them at all times.
  • Lock them up. If you’re in a hotel that has a safe, lock up any electronic devices that you aren’t planning to take with you when you leave the hotel on daily excursions.
  • Avoid using open Wi-Fi hotspots. According to Corporate Travel Safety, using free Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, for example, probably means that your data is being transmitted over open airwaves. As discussed in a previous issue of Membership Matters, that makes it easier for your personal data to be picked up by a stranger. Set your computer default to require your authority before connecting to a new network. Also, try to avoid these free hotspots and unknown wireless connections. Look for a fully deployed Wi-Fi protected Access (WPA) networks to use, as they have a higher level of security.
  • Back it up. As Tech News Daily suggests, before you leave home back up all your photographs, files, e-mails and anything else of importance that’s stored on your laptop or device. Leave that backup at home so that if your device does go missing, at least you won’t have lost everything.

These suggestions are just a sampling of the many ways you can endeavor to keep your electronics safe and secure while traveling.

For more advice on how to prevent electronic device theft, visit About.com Computer Center, or Tech News Daily.

409679 CAN/US (04/15)

 

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