Security tips for smarter travel
Michael Saunders & Company is proud to be one of the few real estate companies considered a Champion of Cybersecurity by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. As we close out Cybersecurity Awareness Month and approach one of the busiest travel seasons, our focus turns to tips to keep your data and devices safe during your journey.
Connect safely anytime, anywhere
- If you connect it, protect it. Start by updating your devices to the latest security software, web browser and operating systems. If using a USB or an external hard drive, assure your device’s security software scans for viruses and malware.
- Back up your information. Protect your devices with antivirus software and periodically back your data to another device or cloud service. Taking extra precautions help secure your information in case your device is compromised or needs to be reset to factory settings.
- Care before you share. Never keep your guard down. Only connect with people you know and trust. The information you post on social channels could impact your safety and that of your home.
- Keep your software updated. Make sure you are using the latest version of all software. Enable automatic updates to defend against the latest risks. Set your security software to run regular scans.
- Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure you are the only person who has access to your account for any service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device like your smartphone, an authenticator app or a secure token — a small physical device that acts like an electronic key to gain access.
Know while you go
- Stop auto-connecting. Disable auto connections on your devices. Instant connections like available wireless networks or Bluetooth opens the door for cybercriminals to remotely access your devices.
- Stay protected while connected. Take caution before you connect to a public wireless hotspot. Confirm the name of the network and login procedures with staff to ensure the connection is legitimate. If you do use an unsecured public access point, avoid financial activities requiring passwords or credit cards. Your personal hotspot can provide a safer alternative to free Wi-Fi. Only use sites that begin with “https://” for online shopping or banking.
- Play hard to get with strangers. Cybercriminals use phishing tactics hoping to fool their victims. Use the “Junk” or “Block” option if you are unsure who the email is from. Do not click on links or download attachments in that email.
- Avoid becoming a statistic. Take precautions to avoid becoming the target of cybercriminals. Keep sensitive information like Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private as well as your full name, address, birthday and even vacation plans. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are — and where you are not — at any given time.
- Guard your mobile devices. To prevent theft, unauthorized access or loss of sensitive information, never leave your equipment or external storage devices unattended in a public place. Keep your devices secured throughout your trip — anytime, anywhere.