Vacation and cybersecurity: How to protect yourself

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Jun 29, 2022

When we travel, we all worry about losing our personal items, or worse, having them stolen. Usually, when that happens, we don't consider how it impacts our workplaces. The truth is, with so much personal data on our phones, tablets and laptops, not only can thieves gain access to sensitive data, they can gain access to work email, passwords and more. This can lead to serious security breaches if you haven't taken the necessary steps to ensure your devices are as secure as possible. Milner’s managed IT services can help keep everyone protected from cybersecurity risks  through the implementation of a few important cybersecurity measures. We can monitor threats for you so you can enjoy your vacation or travel while knowing that we've got your back.

Account security while on vacation

Remember to backup all your files from your computer before leaving for vacation. Even if you think you might need to do some work while away, leave your company computer at home and, if possible, uninstall your corporate email from your phone. Make sure you have personal device tracking such as “Find My iPhone” or “Find My Device” installed on your mobile devices. In the event that your phone or tablet is stolen, you can remotely delete all the data on the device, ensuring no one can access it. This is why you should backup any important data on these devices before you travel. And don’t forget to fortify your online accounts with strong authentication tools like biometrics, security keys or multi-factor authentication.

Be wary of public access points while on vacation. It is definitely important to always use secure Wi-Fi, but it is especially crucial to monitor what your devices are connected to while on vacation. Insecure WiFi points are frequently used to inject malware into your devices. Make sure you only use complimentary WiFi if it is provided by a reputable service, such as your hotel. It is always advisable to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when using public WiFi. Public computers in hotel lobbies and internet cafes should not be used for sensitive purposes. Many of them are poorly maintained and can contain spyware or keyloggers that capture your passwords. While hotel, airport, and café USB charging ports provide convenience, they can also pose a risk as viruses or data can be transmitted.

Although you may be taking a break from work, you should still be on the lookout for suspicious emails. Emails related to your vacation can be used by cybercriminals to It is easy for them to catch you on vacation, when they think you won't be paying attention to the small details of your emails as you juggle luggage, locations and possible multiple bookings. Verify that any emails claiming that your booking has been changed, canceled or upgraded are not suspicious, and never click on any links in these emails, especially ones that ask you to log into an email account or require you to provide any passwords.

Lastly, while you will undoubtedly want to share your amazing trip on your social media accounts, wait to do so until you return home from vacation. Social media sharing can put your home at risk since burglars have access to your travel plans and know when you aren't at home. Further, hackers can use this information to pose as you and ask for money from your employers or family members.

Vacation security checklist:

  • Backup all your data on any devices you decide to bring in case you need to remotely wipe any sensitive information.
  • Make sure your online accounts are secure by enabling strong authentication tools.
  • Don’t bring your company computer, and if at all possible, uninstall your corporate email from your devices.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi hotspots, public computers or public USB charging points.
  • Beware of phishing emails about changes to your reservations, including upgrades or cancellations. Always look for anything suspicious and don’t click embedded links.
  • Wait to post anything about your trip on social media until you get home.

Milner is your cybersecurity resource

Taking some simple precautions will help you minimize the risks of being out of the office while enjoying a secure vacation. Managed IT services from Milner can help you stay as protected as possible while working or traveling. We offer live help desk support 24/7 so if anything comes up, we are here to assist. We can assist you with data backups and can help you protect your accounts before you travel. You should worry more about whether you've applied enough sunscreen rather than whether your passwords are secure while on vacation. Reach out to a Milner Cybersecurity Awareness Specialist to schedule a call.
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