Do you have a check-off list for your travel plans? Your bags are all set. You have all the required documents and you’re ready to take off. You’ve closed the front door and set your home alarm system. Everything is secured. Or is it?
Before you take off have you thought about how your personal information and data will be secure while traveling? Information shared and made accessible via the internet is at risk of being attacked by cybercriminals, through means like your email. You can use these ten essential tips for keeping your email security high while traveling to your advantage.
Check out our 10 tips for your email security:
Keep Your Account Security Updated
It’s important to keep and maintain your email account’s security. This can be done in a few ways. First and foremost, review your email account settings. You want to make sure you have all of your settings, particularly security settings on the desired function. Stay abreast of any software and account updates that may occasionally change these settings as well.
Control Your Password
It may get annoying having to create passwords with set requirements such as including special characters, numbers, and length, but the requirements are there for a reason. The stronger your password the more secure your account and account information is. Many know that having a strong password is desirable, but weak passwords are still being created.
It’s important to follow password best practices, some of which you already have an idea from password set requirements on certain sites. Best practices for creating strong passwords include avoiding obvious and familiar words or phrases (e.g. your pet’s name), using random numbers and characters, and creating longer “passphrases.”
For mobile devices, consider enhancing your security by adding two-step authentication, pattern locks, and biometric protection.
You do not want to keep the same password for multiple accounts. Each account should have a unique password. When you create a strong password it is not necessary to change it frequently, but it never hurts to regularly schedule password updates. If you feel your account has been breached, do immediately change the password and log out across all devices.
Maintain Your Antivirus Software
Any time you operate via the internet it is necessary to have antivirus software. Internet criminals and hackers can easily access, attack, and target devices without antivirus software. It is an added layer of security. This type of technology solution helps protect from a variety of online threats including but not limited to spyware, phishing, and spam attacks.
Secure Your Information
It’s important that you are cognizant of where your information is stored, who has access to your information, and who knows your information. This is all kinds of personal, private, or business information that can be used to breach your security. If someone even knows your first elementary school, they could authorize device use from another (unknown) location.
Sometimes little things can be detected in small talk, social media profiles, and professional networks. These little things and seemingly unimportant details can be used against you. It would be nice if sharing information like your dog’s name was harmless, but malicious hackers can use such information against you and gain access to vital personal data.
Monitor Your Wi-Fi Connections
Internet vagrants and hackers can gain access to personal information and data through wi-fi connections. For this reason, it is important, particularly while traveling, to not jump public networks and only use secure networks.
Most public networks are unsecured. It is helpful to disable automatically connecting to public networks across devices. You may also want to consider traveling with a VPN for added internet security.
If you ever doubt the validity of anything you come across, do not be afraid to verify. It’s always better to verify the information. Still, even in verifying information, it is important to be wary. Scammers now also send emails that ask you to verify your personal information through an external link. However, most businesses do not require verification through email.
The email design may seem legitimate to scammers. Look for any suspicious signs in the email. If the email also comes out of nowhere, suspect malintent. When it comes to verifying any personal information it is always best to verify through a call or in person.
Utilize Encryption Software
A lot of information is exchanged through emails. This includes sensitive and pertinent information. Any exchange of information via email comes with security risks. The information exchange can be intercepted and read en route by internet criminals.
Encryption software for emails is designed to protect the confidentiality and integrity of email and thus can provide valuable security. For institutions that handle and manage a large amount of personal information, encryption software is usually required.
Do not attempt to open or click on anything if it looks suspicious or if you are unfamiliar with the sender. Revie monitor, and analyze anything suspicious. If it doesn’t look or feel right, trust your gut and avoid a potential technology disaster.
Scammers are improving their techniques. So, even if an email appears to come from a legitimate site, person, or institution you are familiar with exercise caution. Avoid engaging with any shared information from a doubtful source. Do not download random or oddly labeled attachments.
When sharing personal information or requiring verification, most places use direct communication through secured avenues or direct you to files already on a secured site.
Stay cautious in your email management. Email applications store a lot of data. You may want to consider implementing an email archiving solution to store and easily locate emails over time. Backing up information and data from emails is also a good resort in the event of cyberattacks. No matter how well an account is secured, it still risks the possibility of attack and breach.
Stay cautious through monitoring emails, being careful in exchanges and engagement, and setting up an archiving solution provides an excellent backup.
Your email security is important – Stay on the Lookout
Do not haphazardly read emails or review your account. Regularly check the status of your email account. Keep an eye open for giveaways that will alert you to email fraud and scams and prevent attacks. Suspicious signs to look out for include items like typos, weird URLs, improper or incorrect formatting, grammatical errors, strange attachments, and ambiguous addresses.
Beware of Schemes
Email scams have been around for a long time and they are only evolving in sophistication. Email phishing schemes to beware of include spear phishing, the Business Email Compromise (BEC), and whaling. Other phishing schemes include vishing and smishing. All these schemes have the malintent of accessing personal information.
During your travels, there will be many things on your mind. One thing you can worry less about is your email security by incorporating these essential tips for keeping your email safe and secure while traveling.