You Are Connected!
It is inevitable while being online to run afoul of the bad guys. These days it seems like they are everywhere. We have put together a simple set of best practices to keep you and your important information safe from prying eyes.
1. Back up all your files: who knows what may happen when you are on the road. Computers get stolen, hacked or damaged. I keep all my data on a flash drive that is always with me. Small and compact, your data stays safe and sound!
2. Remove sensitive data: There is no reason why you need to carry around your personal financial information, etc. Keep it safe and at home, preferably locked up in your safe.
3. Install strong passwords: Whether at home or on the road, always create and use strong passwords.
4. Ensure antivirus software is up-to-date: And while you are at it make sure, all your software programs and patches are also up-to-date!
5. File Sharing: Make sure it is turned off in your computer
While you are traveling, be extra vigilant, not only in your public use of your computer but also keeping track of your gear. Criminals look for folks who are not paying attention. So keep your eyes and ears open and don’t leave your gear unattended. It is not just the electronic hackers that you have to worry about but the eyes and ears of the bad guys.
6. Virtual Private Network: It is highly recommended that you use a VPN to protect your communication. They basically use the same technology as banks and credit card companies. Everything you send from emails and messages to financial transactions are secured. We like a company called PRIVATE WiFi (http://www.privatewifi.com/)
7. Privacy screen: They just might be looking over your shoulder as you login and enter that password. You just might want to consider using a privacy screen on your laptop.
8. Device security: Your smartphone, tablet and other devices can be vulnerable to malware as well as your laptop. With GPS, you and your equipment can readily be located. So make sure you are using security applications on them as well.
9. Legit Wi-Fi Hotspots: Before you login to your hotel’s network get the actual name of the network. The bad guys often use scam spots to lure you into their demonic den.
10. Attachments & Links: Unless you know for sure who is sending and that they ARE sending do not I repeat do not download it or click on it. I just received an email from someone at a company I knew that had a link to a Google doc, something seemed off about it. The language was not very fluent sounding. Needless to say I did not click on it and it was a phishing scam.
11. Public places: Be safe when using public equipment and services (e.g., phones, computers and fax machines) in places like Internet cafes, coffee shops, book stores, travel agencies, clinics, libraries, airports, and hotels. It is probably not a good idea to access your bank account and other sensitive communications.
12. Change passwords: When you get home it is a good idea to change your passwords, just to be on the safe side, especially if you have been traveling out of the country