Peter and Kate McAllister love to travel. They live in a beautiful home in the suburbs of Chicago, and every year they make it a ritual to gather with family and fly to exotic locations. Kate and Peter are, of course, fictional characters from the 1992 classic Home Alone, but for all working professionals planning on traveling this summer, there is a lesson to be learned from watching this couple stumbling to prepare for their travels. And while you’re (hopefully) not likely to leave your son at home for a few weeks, you, like the McAllister’s, are more than likely forgetting something very important: securing your data while abroad. With travel season coming fast, we thought it would be a good idea to remind you of a few steps that you can take to secure your data away from home.
Make sure that you have password protection and enable inactivity log outs
Imagine sitting at a gate, perhaps sending out a few last-minute emails before you’re off. Imagine what would happen if you leave that laptop behind, and some stranger picks it up. Could someone access your bank account from your laptop or phone? Could they access your email or other important personal data? Does your computer or phone store your credit card data? Using unique passwords and making sure that your accounts log out due to inactivity can go a long way in preparing for the worst.
Consider using a Wi-Fi hotspot rather than your hotel’s internet
For as low as $7.77 a day, you can rent a secure, personal hotspot, rather than using less secure public Wi-Fi commonly offered at hotels, cafés, airports and other places you might visit on vacation. Consider the risks in using the alternative, public wireless, where hackers might be able to review every bit of data you’re sending out, including emails, purchases, and private information.
Avoid online banking and shopping while you’re on a public network
Have you ever been on vacation and spent a little more than you intended? With mobile banking, a lot of inconvenient ATM trips can be avoided, but that gets riskier when you’re on a public network. Wait for a secure, private connection or use an ATM if public Wi-Fi is your only option.
Back up your data before you head out
Country singer Dave Carroll once wrote a song called “United Breaks Guitars,” a moving composition about the death of his Taylor guitar. He starts the song crooning “I flew United Airlines on my way to Nebraska. The plane departed, Halifax, connecting in Chicago’s “O’Hare”. While on the ground, a passenger said from the seat behind me, “My God, they’re throwing guitars out there.” If it can happen to Dave’s guitar, it can happen to your laptop. Back up your data on an external hard drive, just in case the worst should occur. That way, even if you have to write a song to get your airline to admit liability, you still have your important data.
Your vacation time should be relaxing and stress free, not a source of more frustration. Take the stress of worrying about your technology and let LammTech give you peace of mind all year round. Call 660-827-9944 today.