14 Aug Traveling with personal internet-enabled devices
The internet is at your fingertips with the widespread use of internet-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets. When traveling and shopping at any time, especially during the holidays, consider the wireless network you might use when completing any transaction on a device.
KNOW THE RISKS
Smartphones, tablets and other devices can be full-fledged computers. They are susceptible to risks inherent in online transactions. When shopping, banking or sharing personal information online, take the same precautions with a smartphone or other devices that you would with a personal computer… and then some. The mobile nature of these devices means that you should also take precautions for the physical security of your device and consider the way you are accessing the internet.
DON NOT USE PUBLIC WI-FI NETWORKS
Avoid using open Wi-Fi networks to conduct personal business, bank, or shop online. Open Wi-Fi networks at places such as airports, coffee shops and other public locations present an opportunity for attackers to intercept sensitive information that you would provide to complete an online transaction.
Feel like to must check your bank balance or make an online purchase while traveling? Turn off your device’s Wi-Fi connection and use your mobile device’s cellular data internet connection instead of making the transaction over an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
TURN OFF BLUETOOTH WHEN NOT IN USE
Bluetooth-enabled accessories can be helpful, such as earpieces for hands-free talking and external keyboards for ease of typing. When these devices are not in use, turn off the Bluetooth setting on your phone. Cybercriminals have the capability to pair with your phone’s open Bluetooth connection when you are not using it and steal personal information.
BE CAUTIOUS WHEN CHARGING
Avoid connecting a mobile device to any computer or charging station that you do not control, such as a charging station at an airport terminal or a shared computer at a library. Connecting a mobile device to a computer using a USB cable can allow software running on that computer to interact with the phone in ways that a user may not anticipate. As a result, a malicious computer could gain access to your sensitive data or install new software.
DON’T FALL VICTIM TO PHISHING SCAMS
If you are in shopping mode, an email that appears to be from a legitimate retailer might be difficult to resist. If the deal looks too good to be true, or the link in the email or attachment to the text seems suspicious, do not click on it.
Did you notice that an online account of yours has been hacked? Call the bank, store, or credit card company that owns your account. Reporting fraud in a timely manner helps to minimize the impact and lessen your personal liability. You should also change account passwords for any online services associated with your mobile device using a different computer that you control. If you are the victim of identity theft, additional information is available from https://www.idtheft.gov/.