Summer Vacation: Tech Safety Tips
Summer is in full swing, and for many families that means a summer getaway is still on the horizon. For today’s family, the cell phone and laptop or tablet are the first items to be packed. However, going hi-tech on vacation does have issues that should be considered before hitting the road. Here are tips that both parents and children should follow to make sure technology doesn’t get in the way of creating vacation memories of a lifetime:
- Don’t tell the world you’re going on vacation. It is second nature to put your newspaper on hold and leave a few lights on at home and it’s important to take the same kind of precautions when it comes to your online profile. Save the status updates, tweets, and picture posting for after you’ve returned.
- Take the time to password protect your family’s mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops). In the unfortunate event your device is lost or stolen, the password can protect private information from being accessed if it ends up in the wrong hands. For parents or teens, if any financial sites have been visited on a smartphone or computer, password-protecting your device can reduce the risk of your bank account being wiped out.
- Don’t leave any technical devices unsecured in your hotel room. Take advantage of in-room safes not just for valuables such as jewelry, but also for mobile devices. Too many people could potentially access your room, and you have no way of knowing if those people are trustworthy.
- Always assume you’re not alone on public WiFi networks. These are words to live by while on vacation, since you will likely be in a public setting when you or your kids choose to access the Internet. Disable file sharing, turn on your computer’s personal firewall, and never send Social Security numbers, passwords or financial information when using an unencrypted wireless connection. When staying in a hotel, find out if their wireless network uses WPA (WiFi Protected Access) before going online.
These simple steps can help everyone have a fun, safe and stress-free vacation. Happy travels!
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