Now that smartphones and tablets are an integral part of our everyday life, we spend more time on the internet, even when we are on vacation. Just think of the messages you exchange with your loved ones or the photos you upload to social media to share with your friends the best moments of your summer vacation. All this, however, can become a “headache” if you do not know how to safely surf the Internet and/or do not take care of protecting your devices from physical damage.
So, see how you can protect your portable devices during the holidays:
Summer holidays and use of public Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi hotspots)
Using a public Wi-Fi network always involves many risks. All sensitive data transferred and transmitted through these networks – including personal messages, passwords, or documents – can easily be intercepted and used by attackers. Fortunately, there are ways to make a public Wi-Fi safe (or to avoid it completely).
What if a public Wi-Fi has a password? Is it safe;
Sometimes it is very easy to get drunk in your vacation and connect to an unsafe wireless network. When a password is required to connect to a public Wi-Fi, such as in a hotel, or when you pay for a temporary connection, as is the case at an airport, you believe the connection will be secure.
Initially, what you need to keep in mind is that passwords used on public Wi-Fi are usually either shared or fairly simple (so every malicious guy is easy to guess). Also, many networks use encryption that can “break” even if you do not have the password – yet another reason to avoid using public Wi-Fi.
The truth is that the summer season is the time when most of the cybercriminals are being attacked. Many people are already relaxed with regard to the security practices of their data in their everyday lives. But when they are on holiday, they not only avoid enough to protect their devices but also think that their temporary accommodation, the hotel is as safe as their homes. As this is NOT the case, the least you can do is stay alert when using a public Wi-Fi – taking into account the following security measures:
Complete the necessary work on the Internet before leaving for a vacation
The best thing to do to protect your personal data is to prepare your devices before you go on holiday. This means that you can download the media files you need (videos, music, etc.) and carry out all the necessary financial transactions using your home network. If you do that, you greatly reduce the risk of being a cyber-attack victim.
For the same reason, it may be better to fully update the software and applications on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop at home and avoid software updates while traveling. Storing the necessary data before you leave for a holiday will help you restrict the desire to connect to a public Wi-Fi, and save money by using mobile data, thus enjoying more time for surfing on your most secure 4G network.
Bring your own internet access or use VPN
Many professional travelers use mobile Wi-Fi hotspots that are connected to cellular 3G or 4G networks for fast internet connections. If you travel frequently, whether, for business or pleasure, it is worth investing in such a device, especially now that some mobile / fixed telephony and broadband providers allow you to pay for a service only when you use it.
Another option is to use your own smartphone as a hotspot or to tether the phone to a laptop to access the internet from your laptop. However, this can not be done with all the phones, and in some cases, there are still charges. Although it is worth paying something more to have his head quiet.
Alternatively, you can test the use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. VPN is the easiest way to protect your devices when you connect to the internet through an unsecured connection such as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Even if a malicious user is able to access your connection, the data will be encrypted and will not be able to detect your activity. What you need to know is that trusted VPN services do not store any kind of user history.
Additionally, keep in mind that some websites and services do not allow the use of VPNs, so it’s best to use it only when you are going to connect to your work network.
Use secure connections
Even if you do not use a VPN for general web browsing, you can at least add a level of encryption to your communication using the HTTPS option on web pages you visit frequently or requiring some credential formats to be imported. Keep in mind that cybercriminals are well aware of how users re-use passwords, as your username and password for a social networking medium or your email is the same as you use it your bank account, or your business network, and sending these credentials in an unencrypted way could open a “backdoor” to aspiring intruders. Most websites and services requiring login or credentials have the “HTTPS” option in their settings.
In any case, however, it is advisable to use different passwords for each service, or website. It may be a hassle to have different codes for each platform you visit, but in today’s times where data leaks are commonplace, using the same password on multiple websites can be fatal. If necessary, use a password manager – like LastPass – to create and manage your passwords.
When you connect to the Internet in public space, the best you can do – to get maximum protection from the malicious eyes of Internet criminals is to avoid sharing files and devices. You can disable sharing from system preferences, or Control Panel, depending on the operating system you are using. For example, you can let Windows make the necessary security settings by selecting a “Public” network class the first time you connect to a new, unsafe network.
Disable Wi-Fi when you do not need it
Even if you do not have an active network connection, your device’s Wi-Fi still broadcasts data between any network within reach, which also involves risks. Since you do not need to connect to a wireless network, you should turn off Wi-Fi on your devices. In addition to safety, you will also have much longer battery life.
Lastly, since your only choice is to use an unsecured public Wi-Fi wireless network, you might want to avoid certain activities like online purchases or related transactions, as well as linking to bank accounts. For such activities, it is wiser to use cellular data.
Protect your devices from wear and tear
Vacations mean frequent travel and increased use of technological equipment, often under adverse conditions (sea, sand, heat). If you want to protect your valuable devices from all sorts of risks such as drops, scratches, liquids, etc. you should take action to protect it by being an alert person or you can take insurance for that too.
Bags and cases to safely transport your laptop
The most important factor in choosing a laptop bag is the dimensions it needs to have (the bag) to fit your Laptop. This means you have to make sure the size of the bag is the correct one, that is, according to the dimensions (inches of screen) of your laptop.
Especially for the holidays, she preferred cases that surround the entire device and made sure that protective screens were placed on the screens. The cases you can find on the market are countless and surely some of them will be of your taste.
Cases for smartphones and tablets
There are tablets and smartphones that are dust and water resistant – such as Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ1 – but a smartphone case or tablet will offer extra protection from sand and sea water when you take them to the beach. If you do not find the idea of “dressing” your mobile phone or tablet with a pouch so attractive, you must do it at least for the carefree moments on the beach (or the pool).
When selecting a case for the tablet, or smartphone, it is important to make sure it is properly inserted into the device. There are cases for specific tablet/smartphone models, or with universal applications that are usually categorized depending on the screen size. Other cases are categorized depending on model number, or specific size, to ensure they are of the right size.
Sleeve cases are typically designed for specific sizes and are available in small, medium and large sizes, or according to screen size.
A smart solution specifically for the beach is the pouch-bags in which the device is placed in a transparent special bag to protect it from water and sand. For example, there are waterproof IPX8 smartphone cases, which means you can dive along with your device up to 20 meters deep. Correspondingly, there are waterproof pouches for tablets that have a rigid closure to protect against water and dust.
The most important thing about your holiday is to be able to relax and have fun. Your tablet or smartphone can help in your entertainment, but it’s good to use it without excessive extensions. Besides, it is better to enjoy summer moments with your family and friends.
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