Your Vacation Tech Guidelines

Flickr: EFF Photos

Flickr: EFF Photos

As the last few weeks of summer approach, families frantically plan for one final vacation getaway. As children grow older, parents realize that each break may be your last chance to take a family vacation. Sports camps, summer jobs, and spending time with friends becomes more of an importance to young people as puberty progresses. Therefore, it’s important for families to take getaways when they can.

We do live in a world run by technology, though, and even on vacations, it’s near impossible to leave the devices at home. These devices link with GPS, Internet, and more to make them your one device for all needs. This also means hacking or loss of this device impacts everything on it. To allow your device the best chance at safety, consider these tips:

vacation pictures

If your device is coming with you on vacation, follow these suggestions! Flickr:
Michael Coghlan

Remove any information you won’t need on your trip.

Different countries implement different restrictions on Internet usage and your technology. If you’re vacationing somewhere that is known to engage in such activities, it’s best to leave all your information at home. Consider leaving work devices at the office or safe in a drawer at home. If your company uses a BYOD model, leaving your device at home may be impossible. In these instances, it is wise to remove your work email and other work-related apps from your device. Reinstalling and/or re-downloading after your vacation takes minimal time and provides better security for your company and your information.

Leave additional technology at home or at the office.

Check all bags for unnecessary items before you leave for your trip. For example, if you’re bringing a laptop, check that there are no flash drives, backup devices, connection wires, etc. Not only does this add extra weight, but it also puts your information in danger.

Another thing to check for (and take out of your bag or wallet) is business cards. These cards, when put in the wrong hands, can get yourself or others in HUGE trouble. This rings especially true for cards from major corporations and/or upper level management positions. There are urban legends out there of valuable business cards getting into the wrong hands and creating big issues for the person whose information is on the card (think of a “Catch Me If You Can” type of situation).

lost smartphone

Utilize encryption capabilities.

Encryption ensures that if your device is lost or stolen, no information can be taken or received from it. If there is anything at all that you cannot, do not, or should not have stolen, it is wise to encrypt. Some apps, such as Facebook Messenger, has encryption capabilities embedded into the application. Regardless, your entire device needs that extra layer of protection. To find out how to encrypt your device, contact your service provider or do a simple “How to encrypt [NAME OF YOUR DEVICE]” on Google.

Avoid public networks.

Whether is WiFi, Bluetooth, or something else, using a public connection can result in cybersecurity risks. Use a password-protected network and disconnect from the network when you are not using it. Also, keep in mind that VPNs are your friend.

access iPhone data

Flickr: Toshiyuki IMAI

Update your software and/or operating system.

With each device upgrade, there are enhanced and additional security features. Utilize these free upgrades always, but especially when going on vacation.