WHILE YOU ARE AWAY, CYBERCRIMINALS WILL PREY by Paul Ferraresi

Travel seems to be on everyone’s calendar. Whatever your travel plans, you can address the cybercrime safety and security issues by reviewing the following checklist.

A SAFE-TRAVEL CYBER CHECKLIST

Don’t discuss travel plans on social media. Do not post travel dates or itineraries, and warn your children not to share their own or their parents’ travel plans – and never reveal when no one is home.

Be wary of public Wi-Fi. You should always use secure connection when going online in public places.

Be careful getting cash and making payments. Be cautious of where you make payments or get cash, since these are the key access points for identity theft among cybercriminals. Using ATMs at a bank branch is safer than using standalone ATMs, and using a credit card for merchandise purchases is safer than using a debit card, which provides direct access to a bank account.

Turn off home computers. The ‘always-on’ computers are more susceptible to hacking.

Back up all data. Storing all sensitive files in a secure facility on the cloud is recommended, as is backing up data onto a removable storage device that can be kept in a home safe.

Change passwords. If you are taking an iPhone on a trip it is suggested that you change your Apple ID password to something long and difficult to hack and turn on the lock-screen passcode.

Register for the Smart Traveler program. The State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/ is a free service that allows citizens traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy. Enrollment enables embassies to reach travelers in an emergency, as well as help family and friends contact the travelers.

Protect the home while away. If you will be gone for any period of time you should take the following steps to protect their homes from cybercriminals: Alert the home alarm provider so they will know the house is vacant; ask your alarm company if they offer an encryption tool for their home security system to make it less vulnerable to hackers; disconnect the garage door opener and lock it manually to protect from criminals who can crack the electronic code; and unplug any devices or appliances connected to the internet.

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You can also visit our website at Founders Group to learn more about how we can help you optimize your assets or provide you with any financial advice.

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