You May Be Ready for Vacation, But Is Your Phone?

You May Be Ready for Vacation, But Is Your Phone?

Even if you plan to leave your laptop at home, you’re likely lugging plenty of internet-connected devices along with you on vacation. Unfortunately, those same devices that may be your fun-enhancers could be targets for hackers.


“The issue is not that cybersecurity extends beyond computers; it is that computers extend beyond traditional laptops and desktops. Many electronic devices are computers—from cell phones and tablets to video games and car navigation systems,” according to a tip sheet from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. “While computers provide increased features and functionality, they also introduce new risks.”


Before You Leave the House


If you don’t practice cybersecurity basics, vacation is a good time to start. Make sure all of your devices’ software is up to date to protect against known vulnerabilities, then make sure you have a strong password or passphrase and use some form of multifactor authentication. Those are basics, but they’re effective. A recent Google study found adding a recovery phone number to your Google Account can block up to 100% of automated bots, 99% of bulk phishing attacks, and 66% of targeted attacks.


While you’re at it, a little digital spring cleaning is a good idea. Remove apps you no longer use and back up your devices. James Slaby, director of cyber protection at Acronis, suggests the 3-2-1 rule: Keep three copies of your data. The first copy is the data on your device plus two copies on different media (like an external USB device). Keep one of those copies offsite (like in the cloud or an external drive in a storage unit) to protect your data from physical c ..