It is summer and many people will be traveling on vacation, however, since few of us totally disconnect from the digital world, many of us will be traveling with our cell phones, tablets and laptops.  Today, I will tell you about some steps you should be taking to protect your security on your electronic devices while traveling.   Using public WiFi in coffee shops, airports, hotels and other places while on vacation poses a particularly significant problem.  Whenever you use public WiFi, there are two concerns.  First, you can’t be sure that you are actually using the public WiFi and not a phony WifFi readily set up by a hacker sitting near you who is stealing your information and second, someone may be able to hack into your device while you are on the legitimate public WiFi.

Additionally, if your phone, tablet or laptop is stolen, the data on your device can potentially be accessed and used to make you a victim of identity theft, therefore you should make sure that the entire storage unit in your device is encrypted.  Devices that have been updated with the latest versions of Android are encrypted by default.   Bitlocker can be used to provide encryption for Window’s products.   Macs can be protected through FileVault with a password.

Here is a link to help you use Bitlocker which provides full disk encryption for Windows products. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4028713/windows-10-turn-on-device-encryption

Here is a link to help you use Apple’s FileVault. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837

TIPS
Whatever electronic device you are using to connect to a WiFi network, whether it is a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone should be equipped with up to date security software. Also use dual factor authentication whenever possible. Switch off your WiFi and Bluetooth connections when you are not using them.  In addition, you should have encryption software so that your communications are encoded.  You also should go to your settings and turn off sharing.  You also should make sure that your firewall is current and turned on.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which enables you to send your communications through a separate and secure private network even while you are on a public network.  Here is a link to an article that lists ten good VPNs that you can get for free. https://www.techradar.com/vpn/best-free-vpn

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