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6 Things You Can Do While Traveling to Make Sure Your Data is Safe from Hackers

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Submitted by Bruce Newman from CMIT Solutions of The Northeast Valley on Thursday, June 23, 2011

Would you go to a strange place and announce you have thousands of dollars on you and no way to protect yourself if someone attacked you? Of course you wouldn’t, so why do you let your personal technology to continuously reach out and announce its vulnerability?

iStock_000001428391XSmall-300x199We are connected with the world around us, whether we know
it or not. Your laptop, smartphone, and even mp3 player are constantly sending out information and reaching for connections over wireless signals.

With Wi-Fi more prevalent now more than ever, it is easier to connect to the internet and transmit data. But if you are connecting to the internet in a public place, like an internet café or the airport, you are vulnerable to data breaches which could cost you money and important information.

While traveling this summer, keep yourself safe with a few easy tips that will save you time and hassles down the road:

  1. Turn off automatic detection/connection on your wireless devices. Even while you are not using your device, it is continuously searching for a signal. Turning off automatic detection will keep your device safe and allow you to choose which secure signal you want to connect to at the appropriate time.
  2. Turn on the firewall protection if your device has the option. The firewall is exactly what it sounds like: a barrier that protects you from any unwanted intruders. By enabling this option, you can protect your documents while on the go. The one thing to keep in mind with a firewall is to have an updated version of the program since intruders are continuously searching for ways to bypass older versions.
  3. Password-protect your files and documents on all of your devices. Use a strong password that includes both numbers and capitalized letters to ensure the privacy of your documents and your information.
  4. Avoid websites where personal information could be jeopardized like online banking or billing services. Personal sites like these are vulnerable if accessed in public areas. Avoid accessing these sites until you know you are connected to a secure signal that is not open to the public.
  5. Avoid connecting to your company’s VPN (virtual private network) through a public signal. Instead, use a mobile wireless card with encryption to ensure hackers are unable to access private documents of the company.
  6. And finally, avoid connecting to networks that are not password-secured or have generic names such as “Linksys” for the title. Many times, this is an easy port for hackers to gain access to your wireless devices and steal your information.

While you are traveling, the last thing that may be on your mind is safely navigating the internet. But, it is imperative that you protect your data and information from prying eyes. There are many steps you can take to ensure you stay safe, but remember to just use common sense when connecting to any wireless signal in a public setting.

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