5 Security Guidelines for Summer Chilling

We’re all guilty of only engaging with employees when we need something[...]
By Omer Taran
image July 01, 2021 image 6 MIN READ

We’re all guilty of only engaging with employees when we need something. It could be that we want them to complete a training module or perhaps check a particular box for a compliance requirement. Well, summer is here, and it’s a great opportunity to provide employees with helpful security tips beyond cybersecurity housekeeping!  

We’re providing this handy checklist to add value for your employees while they travel and spend time with family and friends. Feel free to copy and paste the whole thing, or choose the parts that work for you, and send it to employees in your next security communications outreach.

Some of these tips may sound straightforward or obvious, but we all get distracted and none of us are completely immune from making mistakes, so it’s important to get a refresher from time to time!

You deserve a break – but don’t forget to stay vigilant! 

No one wants to think about crime and theft when they’re on summer vacation, especially after the long months of COVID-19 lockdown and pandemic-related stress. But unfortunately, attackers don’t take time off, and unlike school – criminals are always in session. 

While you’re enjoying your break from the day-to-day, here are 5 tips for ensuring you don’t raise the risk levels while you lower your guard.

5 simple guidelines to a secure summer vacation

#1. Use mobile data plans or secure WiFi

82% of people say that when they’re out and about, they will connect to any free public WiFi that’s available. 71% continue that they are “not concerned at all” about the associated security risk. While away from home, mobile data can incur heavy charges, and public WiFi might seem appealing. However, for hackers, the abundance of new victims with little knowledge of security is also appealing. 

Risks include: 

Practical tips for internet safety abroad:

#2. Leverage family safety features or apps

Let’s face it – a vacation with kids might be stressful. Whether it’s babies and toddlers who can’t be let out of your sight, or worrying about older teens who are exploring a new location alone, it can be tough to relax when you’re worried about your children! 

Technology can help you to stay alert on their location and wellbeing, giving them the freedom to explore without adding to your stress levels! 

Here are a few tools that can help you keep track. Remember, these features and applications require your kids’ consent to use. Why not use this opportunity to discuss the risks of being away from home, create an action plan for if they got lost or run into difficulties, or even open up a wider conversation on safety both online and off?   

#3. Protect yourself from thieves

More phones are lost in July than in any other month, with the summertime a popular season for pickpockets and thieves. Perhaps more worrying still – Kaspersky found that 28% of people have no way to recover the files that are on their devices. This is more than simply holiday snaps. Boarding passes, travel documentation, reservations, maps, and more are on a travelers mobile phone when they’re on vacation. Today, as so many employees use their phones for work, you may also be at risk of losing sensitive corporate data.  

Here are a couple of simple, yet powerful, things you can do to protect yourself. 

#4. Limit exposure in your social media accounts

Letting the whole world know that you’re heading on vacation is a great way to let burglars know that your home is sitting empty. We all want to share our holiday snaps and updates with our friends and family – but think smart when it comes to social media coverage, with these precautionary steps: 

#5. Use official websites only

When we finalize our travel plans, we expect to receive email confirmations and updates from airlines and hotel representatives. Hackers know this, and craft phishing emails pretending to be our hospitality rep, with instructions to finalize a reservation or reset our password. In the flurry of activity in the lead-up to a vacation, none of us are at our most careful. Phishing emails often target accounts like credit cards and frequent flyer logins, where valuable financial information can be harvested. 

When traveling, every phishing email about vacations would seem contextual. An email about flight delay has a higher chance of grabbing our attention even if it’s from the wrong airline. Official notifications about your bank account, your itinerary, or even those with poor English and grammar due to being sent from a holiday destination have a higher chance of making it past your defenses. 

Two tips for consuming travel notifications safely:

Work hard, play hard 

Don’t let the threat of criminals and thieves ruin your well-earned time off. We hope these tips and tricks are helpful, and that you have an awesome vacation! If you have any other questions about staying secure on and offline, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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