Monthly Archives: June 2015

Cyber Security tips for travelers

Out of the office on vacation this summer? Despite being encouraged to switch off, and enjoy a well-earned break, the reality is that many people find it difficult to “go dark” and so fall into the trap of checking emails by the pool.

So whether you’re travelling to a conference or a hitting the beach, you need to take appropriate steps to keep your data secure, particularly when browsing the internet or making online payments from your mobile device.

With Wi-Fi continuously available today in planes, trains, cars and hotels, the potential is there for us to remain constantly connected. However with that, comes the temptation to cut the usual corners where online security is concerned.

With that in mind, here are five simple cyber security tips:

1.Not Using Your Device? Lock It!

However careful you are, we’re all at risk of leaving a phone in a cab or perhaps dropping it in a bar, so you need to make sure no one can access important data, should it get into the wrong hands.

Set your devices to auto-lock after two minutes to ensure your content remains private.
Pick the longest and most complex password you can manage. Don’t use a four-digit pin on your phone because that seems to be the norm. Changing to eight digits means it takes a hacker 10,000 times longer to guess it.
Making the effort to encrypt your phone will render it useless to a criminal. This is automatic on iOS 8 devices.

2.Public Wi-Fi Is… Public

If something seems too good to be true, chances are, it probably is. Security bugs are common in public Wi-Fi routers, even in the hospitality industry.

You can’t always be sure the hotspot is what it says it is. Hackers can set up seemingly kosher network names so they can snoop on your personal information. Consider using your mobile phone network, or buying a SIM when you arrive to use Pay As You Go data as you need it. Better still, use the company VPN if you can.

3.Turn off Geo-Tagging and Geolocation Features

Before you post a picture of your ice cold beer by the pool to social media, consider this: Does every Tom, Dick and Harry need to know you’re away from home?

Go through your applications and make sure as much geo-tagging is turned off as possible.

For the “tinfoil hat” wearers, even if you have GPS turned off, your phone can still work out where you are by keeping track of all the Wi-Fi access points it can see around you. Airplane mode is the only way to guarantee you cannot be tracked.

4.Public Computers and ATMs: The Risks

Sometimes it pays to be more conservative than usual, especially when you’re traveling in unfamiliar territory. Public computers, like those at Internet cafes or business centers at hotels, could be infected with malware, which might spy on you when you go online. Crooks can also attach a card reader to an ATM or a sales register to skim the account numbers off your credit card.

If in doubt, travel with cash. For online payments, services such as PayPal allow you to make a transaction without typing in card details.

5.Add Layers of Protection to Your Mobile Devices

Fortify your accounts wherever possible. It’s always worth strengthening your cyber defences when in an unfamiliar environment.

For added protection, use an antivirus on your Android smartphones as well as your laptop (both Windows and Mac). This adds another layer to the login process.

As a general rule, you should also update your operating system when it prompts you, and keep an eye on apps permissions. For example, there is no need for an alarm clock to be able to read your list of contacts! This will all stand you in good stead for complete protection of your mobile devices.

Reference:John Shaw

ConnectSafely’s Summertime Tips for Online Safety and Security – Continued 3rd week

Connected Kids and Phones
Many kids carry phones which can help them stay connected and reach their families in emergencies. However, smartphones also run apps for interactive games that can share locations and so much more.

  • Know the apps: Be aware of the apps your kids use. Make sure they are only downloaded from reputable app stores and check their privacy disclosures and settings.
  • Be location savvy: Apps that share your location with friends and family can be great, but be sure only the right people can find out where you are.
  • Lock your phone: Make sure that you have a secret PIN (personal identification number), a password, fingerprint setting or other security measures in place so that only you can access your phone.
  • Know how to locate and wipe your phone: There are free tools like Apple’s iCloudFind my Phone and Google’s Android Device Manager that will help you find your device (if it’s turned on) or wipe it clean if it’s lost.

For more cell phone safety tips, see Tips for Smart Cellphone UseA Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones and the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Safety Tips for Mobile Devices.
The Cyber Trip Advisor
Travel has become more digital by the day. During this same time frame last year, 40 percent of Americans took care of their travel reservations ‒ flights, hotels, cruises ‒ on mobile devices.1 Before you leave home and while you are on the go, use the following tips to steer clear of any number of digital dangers.

Getting Ready to Go:

  • Keep a clean machine: Before you hit the road, make sure all security and critical software is up-to-date on your Internet-connected devices and keep them updated during travel. It is your best line of defense.
  • Get two steps ahead: Turn on two-step authentication (also known as multi-factor authentication) for an extra layer of security beyond the password that is available on most major email, social and financial accounts.
  • Make sure all devices are password protected: Use apasscode or security feature (like a finger swipe) to lock your phone or mobile device.
  • Think before you app: Review the privacy policy and understand what data (such as location and entry to your social networks) the app can access on your device before you download. Delete apps you are no longer using.
  • Own your onlinepresence: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices. It is okay to limit how and with whom you share information – especially when you are away.

While On the Go:

  • Actively manage location services: Location tools come in handy while planning your trip or navigating a new place, but they can also expose your location ‒ even through photos. Turn off location services when not in use.
  • Get savvy aboutWiFi hot spots: Do not transmit personal info or make purchases onunsecure  Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your phone as a personal hotspot to surf more securely.
  • Turn offWiFi and Bluetooth when idle: When WiFi and Bluetooth are on, they connect and track your whereabouts. If you do not need them, switch them off.
  • Protect your $$$: Be sure to shop or bank only on secure sites. Web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, means the site takes extra security measures. However, an “http://” address is not secure.
  • Never use public computers to log in to any accounts: Be extremely cautious on public computers in airports, hotel lobbies and Internet cafes. Keep activities as generic and anonymous as possible.
  • Share with care: Think twice before posting pictures that you would not want certain people (like your parents or employer) to see or photos that would reveal you are traveling.
  • Post only about others as you would have them post about you: The golden rule applies online, too.

Digital Bliss
Here comes the digital bride! According to a 2014 survey by The Knot, wedding planning has gone mobile, with 60 percent of brides downloading an assortment of wedding apps on their devices to stay on top of tasks and to-do lists.Follow these wedding-focused security tips to digital bliss:

Digital “I Do” Etiquette

  • Get two steps ahead: With so many wedding day details stored on your mobile device, turn on two-step authentication on accounts where available to add a layer of security. Check out the Two Steps Ahead campaign to learn more.
  • Make better passwords: Protect your wedding site or app with long, strong passwords, combining capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols for better protection.
  • Unique account, unique password: Set up unique passwords for all of the accounts you use for wedding planning, such as email, social media and your gift registry, to help to thwart
  • Back it up: Capture and save the precious memories from your bachelorette party photos, wedding day and honeymoon memories to a secure cloud site or another drive where they can be stored safely.
  • Update your online photo album: Be mindful of your guests’ privacy while posting pictures and videos of the big day. Delete less flattering photos: in addition to not showing your best side, they take up space.
  • Wait until you get back: Posting pictures while you are on your honeymoon could alert criminals that you are away from home. Maintain your digital bliss, and wait until you return to post your photos.

ConnectSafely’s Summertime Tips for Online Safety and Security -Continued 2nd week

Smart Socializing
whether posting pictures on Snapchat, posing questions on Ask.fm or using any of the thousands of other social apps and sites, young people love to share. Internet Safety Month is a good time to remind them to think about what they are sharing.

  • Share with care: Sharing provocative photos or intimate details online, even in private emails, can cause problems later on. Even people you consider friends can use the information you share online against you.
  • Be nice online: Or at least treat people the way you want to be treated. If someone is mean to you, try not to react, definitely don’t retaliate and use privacy tools to block the meanies.
  • Be smart about pictures: It is fun to share pictures and, yes, they can sometimes be wacky. But you never know who might see them or how they might affect you in the future.
  • Avoid in-person meetings with people you don’t know: It is not necessarily bad to interact with strangers online, but be careful with what information you share and very careful (by letting someone else know or having someone accompany you) before agreeing to meet someone you do not know.

Here are more Social Web Tips for Teens and for Parents too. See NCSA’s newly created, research-based Privacy Tips for Teens.

Gaming Safety for Parents and Kids
Regardless of what platform they use, kids are increasingly connected when they play games online. Parents and kids should be aware of what information might be shared online with other players.

  • Chat carefully:If a game allows you to chat with other players, be careful about the information you disclose.
  • Don’t overdo it:Video games can be fun, but so are physical activity, socializing in person, reading and plain old downtime. It is a good idea to balance summertime activities.
  • Know what your kids are playing:Parents should check video games’ ratings and read reviews to be sure they are appropriate for children. The Entertainment Software Rating Board provides game ratings, and Common Sense Media provides reviews of many games, movies and TV shows.

Here are some more “Tips for Smart Video gaming.”

ConnectSafely’s Summertime Tips for Online Safety and Security

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 2015 ‒ Internet Safety Month offers the unique opportunity to remind kids with more free time, families gearing up for getaways and brides-to-be to STOP.THINK.CONNECT. and stay safer and more secure online. The kick-off to summer brings increased Internet and mobile device use. NCSA has teamed up with ConnectSafely to advise digital citizens of all ages to take simple, actionable security measures, understand the consequences of their behavior and enjoy the Internet’s incredible benefits.

“June is a great time to appreciate the warm weather and to consider how the season impacts our online lives. The Internet greatly enhances our summer experiences as we use technology to plan, enrich and share our activities,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “To support Internet Safety Month, we partnered with ConnectSafely, a leader in helping families online, and tapped their wisdom to help parents and kids learn solid online safety measures.NCSA also has some user-friendly STOP.THINK.CONNECT. Tips for family travel and brides-to-be. With some smart practices, you can help protect yourself, your family and the extended online community while using the Internet with greater confidence.”

“ConnectSafely is pleased to be part of this campaign to help everyone – young and old alike ‒ have a fun and safe summer,” said Larry Magid, ConnectSafely’s CEO. “Besides ‘wear sunscreen to avoid overexposure to the sun,’ our advice this summer is to employ security tools to protect your devices and follow our simple tips to control your online exposure and minimize risks.”
ConnectSafely’s Summertime Tips for Online Safety and Security 
For many kids, summer vacation has long been associated with hanging out with friends and playing games. That is still true. Now, however, an increasing amount of that free time is facilitated by computers and mobile devices ‒ social networking sites and apps allow young people to stay in close touch with classmates and family even from afar. But some thought needs to be given to ensuring that Internet-based activities remain safe and secure and that young people maintain control over who has access to their personal information.