Technology Security Advisor, Ravonda Cole of CMIT Solutions of Chapel Hill , provides helpful technology tips to take on your summer adventures. When you leave for vacation you make sure to lock your house. You might get a pet sitter for your dog or cat. You may purchase some travel insurance. Overall you make sure your business and home are taken care of while you leave. However, do you consider your information security? Travel can be one of the most vulnerable times if you are not prepared. Luckily with a little preparation and education you can keep your valuable safe while you travel the world.
1. Rely on password-protected Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi networks abound — in airports, coffee shops, restaurants, and anywhere else people gather. The danger, however, is that these networks are easily hacked, putting your passwords, your files, and personal information at risk. If you need to transmit important data, log in to financial accounts, or send work-related email, only sign on to password-protected Wi-Fi networks. Better yet, if you have the capability (along with an unlimited data plan), consider using the personal hotspot on your cell phone to create a secure Wi-Fi connection that only you have access to.
2. Save your juice with Low Battery Mode or Low Power Mode — then invest in a good portable charger.
It’s every traveler’s nightmare: you realize you forgot to charge your phone before leaving the land of easily accessible outlets, or you’re stuck jostling with other travelers for a spot at a charging station. If you think you might run out of juice before you can plug in again, turn on Low Battery Mode or Low Power Mode, a setting found by swiping from the top of an Android phone or in the Settings > Battery section of an iPhone. This temporarily reduces background activity like podcast downloads and mail fetch until you have a full charge — which is even easier to do with one of the many affordable and convenient portable battery chargers, which can be found today in everything from suitcases to power blocks to pocket packs.
3. Make sure your data is backed up regularly.
If your data is affected while you’re traveling, there’s often only one way to fully recover: with a proper backup that’s been performed regularly, remotely, and redundantly. Data protection like this is the only surefire way to foil a variety of attacks: ransomware, data breaches, password compromise, malvertising, and more. Implementing automated data backup processes with the help of a trusted IT provider can end up being a lifesaver when you need to recover quickly from unexpected data loss.
4. Store your important documents in the cloud.
Chalk this one up to a task that should be completed BEFORE you leave for summer vacation or a work trip. Storing your documents in a secure cloud provider that works for the needs of your business means everyone can collaborate efficiently and effectively. Version control, interactive track changes, and reviewable comments are all important aspects of this strategy, along with the ability to work on documents offline but have updates automatically synched the next time you connect to the Internet.
5. Use Do Not Disturb settings and out of office messages when you need to disconnect.
Of course, summer travel should involve at least a few windows of complete disconnection: no email, no social media, and no streaming. It’s important for the mind and the body, and studies show that checking out for even a few days can reap serious productivity rewards when you return to work refreshed and revitalized. If you are going to switch things off, write a straightforward out of office message that explains when you’ll be gone, when you’ll respond, and who to contact in your absence. Then, consider configuring the Do Not Disturb settings on your phone to choose whose calls and texts can come through and what apps you can access when you’re trying to relax.
Looking for more ways to keep your data and devices safe while you’re out of the office this summer? Need more details on any of the tips outlined above? CMIT Solutions can help. We worry about IT so you don’t have to — no matter when, where, or from what device you’re working. Contact us today for more information.