Spring break is just around the corner and many people will be taking to the sky, the roads, and the tracks. Whether you’re going on vacation or simply travelling back home, there are some important things to remember in order to keep your laptop, smartphone, and other mobile devices safe.
Before You Go
Back up your device
If you are going on an extended trip, it’s a good idea to back up your data and photos before you leave. In the event of an incident, you will still have a recent version of your data.
Make sure your software is up to date
Be sure to check for software updates before you leave. Operating system updates frequently include security patches that fix vulnerabilities. Also, make sure your device’s firewall and antivirus are enabled and up to date.
Disable the Geo-tagging feature
Don’t let criminals find you. Advertising your location or the fact that you are out of town could put you, your family, and your possessions at risk. This can generally be found under “Location Settings” or “Location Services”.
Whenever you are not using Bluetooth, it should be disabled. If you can access it, so can others. This will help prolong battery life while also providing better security.
For some devices, you can utilize a service such as MobileMe (iPhone and iPad) or the Android Device Manager that allows you to remotely wipe your device’s data if it is lost or stolen.Otherwise, you can download an app to give you remote-wipe capability in case of emergency.
On the Go
Keep your mobile devices in your carry-on
If possible, keep your mobile devices in your carry-on so you know where they are at all times. If your luggage is lost or stolen, you won’t have to worry about identity theft or losing other valuable information.
Never leave a mobile device unattended.
This especially applies to public charging stations you can find in airports. Even if the station is in a cubby or off to the side, do not walk away from your device.
Be aware of your belongings
When moving through an airport or other transportation facility, check that you have your laptop/phone/tablet after you go through security, customs, or another checkpoint.
Be careful with public Wi-Fi
Do not auto-connect to unknown networks. In fact, you should turn this feature off on your mobile devices. Unencrypted public networks are also not the safest for performing sensitive transactions such as online banking.
Check for ‘https’ when web browsing
On both your computer and mobile device, it is important to ensure that sensitive websites are using ‘https’ in the browser url. Unencrypted websites could put your information at risk especially if you are on a public network.
Report lost or stolen devices
In the event that one of your mobile devices is lost or stolen, report it to your carrier immediately so they can deactivate your service. Also, be sure to change any passwords (such as your RIT network password) immediately.
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