A college professor noted that criminal activity increases with the sale of ice cream. What do they have in common? Summer! More people travel in the summer. It's the "high season" for trips to Ireland, which is among the "high risk" parts of the world for cyber crime
Did you know that 556 million people fall victim to cyber crimes each year? That’s 18 per second! When traveling overseas, you are more likely to use an open WiFi service and be exposed to cyber crime.
Top tips to trip up cyber criminals
- Connect to secure WiFi -- Settings up and connecting to a password protected or private WiFi hotspot will limit who can access your computer.
- Create strong passwords -- Use different, complex passwords for each account -- a combination of numbers, letters and symbols is best.
- Verify links -- Don't open or pass on links or attachments unless you know they are safe. Even if a link is sent to you by someone you know, be sure you are confident they indended to send you the link before opening it.
- Update your software -- Keep your security software, web browser and operating system current and updated.
- Backup your data -- Have a plan to back up your data, even from your smartphone, on a consistent basis. And be sure that all business-related data is encrypted.
- Use secure sites -- Be sure the sites you use for shopping and banking are security-anabled. Look for "https://" in the address.
- Confirm the network name -- When using free WiFi, check with the venue to be sure you are connecting with their exact network name and not a fake network (set up to exploit you).
- Connect to networks safely -- Be careful what you transmit when on open and public networks. Avoid banking transactions and use VPN software when conducting business.
- Turn off wireless -- When you're not using it, turn off your wireless connection. And be sure you do not have your device set to automatically enable WiFi.
An option that's becoming more and more popular is a mobile hotspot which enables your computer to connect to the web via cellular networks rather than through WiFi. For example, XCom Global rents mobile data access devices (you rent equipment and unlimited* data access) with broad worldwide coverage at rates substantially below standard international data roaming charges – without any long-term contracts. Travelers can take advantage of XCom Global’s flat rate data connectivity service before they set out on their overseas stay, and connect wherever they go – assuring them savings of time and money. And since the devices are secure, they can access the Internet and place their VoIP calls without any worries. Go to www.xcomglobal.com for more information. Your cellular carrier may have similar devices or services.
*Subject to carriers Fair Use policies.