Increase Your IQ: Summertime cyber-safety tips

Increase Your IQ: Summertime cyber-safety tips

Don't let the summer heat make you forget to be cyber-safe!

Summer is a time full of fun and vacations! It’s also a busy time for cyber-criminals who want to steal your information. Before you leave for vacation, let’s talk about a few things you can do to keep yourself cyber-safe!

Here are some great summertime travel tips!

Avoid free Wi-Fi.
Free Wi-Fi seems convenient, especially when you’re on the road. Unfortunately, free Wi-Fi is not secure and exposes your personal information to hackers.

Confirm the network.
If you must use free Wi-Fi, confirm the name and log-in procedure with the staff of the business that provides it.

Use a VPN.
When connecting to any network, it’s smart to use a VPN. A VPN creates a secure connection so you can safely browse.

Disable auto-connect on your devices.
Be sure the setting to auto-connect to networks and Bluetooth devices is turned off. Connect manually when you want to.

Keep track of your devices.
Always be careful about where you put your phones, laptops, and USB drives. Never leave them unattended in public places!

Do not use shared computers.
Sometimes, hotels and conference rooms have a shared computer setup, however, you will never know if they have the latest security updates or are safe to use.

How to secure your workspace before your vacation

  1. Make sure your desk is clean!
  2. Lock up all important papers in a cabinet or office. Make sure to shred or properly dispose of any paperwork you no longer need.

  3. Backup those files!
  4. Your organization most likely has a backup policy in place but be sure you understand what will be backed up and what won't. Try not to store items on your computer that aren’t work-related.

  5. Make sure you are up to date with any security awareness training!
  6. It happens to everyone: we get busy and put security awareness training on the back burner. But before you leave, make sure you are up to date and take any training that has been assigned to you!

Gone phishing! Cyberattacks increase in the summer

According to Lastline’s Risks and Riptides survey, 58% of cybersecurity professionals said they see more threats in summer than in other seasons. Let’s see why.

  1. Employees sometimes work while on vacation. They may connect to free public Wi-Fi in a coffee shop or restaurant.
  2. Phishing attacks increase in the summer months. Hackers are hoping to catch employees off guard, especially if they have reduced staff or hours during the summer months.
  3. Employees may be more lax about physical security and more prone to leaving their computers unlocked or unattended.

How to avoid Fourth of July scams

Amidst the fun and fireworks of the Fourth of July, there are hackers that use the holiday as an opportunity to try to get access to your private information. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, hackers will try to target you through “patriotic” emails and text messages. When you’re out having fun in the summer, keep an eye out for Fourth of July scams and be safe!

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