The introduction of the internet, smartphones, tablets and laptops has made it possible for families to stay connected with friends, relatives and colleagues no matter where they are in the world.
We’re raising a generation of tech-savvy children and they – along with their parents – have become accustomed to having ready access to mobiles, tablets, WiFi and social media just about anywhere. The problem with this is that it makes you vulnerable to security threats and hackers, so it’s important to protect yourself, your children and your devices when abroad.
Here are a few practical solutions and tools that can help you manage device security while on holiday:
Keep the software and operating system on your devices up-to-date
Since you carry out all kinds of personal transactions on your mobile devices, one of the best lines of defense against security threats is to make sure you are running the latest version of software or operating system. Old and out-of-date security leaves your gadgets vulnerable to thieves and hackers.
Turn off Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a great way to exchange data and connect with other electronic devices, but when left open in public places anyone nearby can pick up your signal and access your phone. The most effective way to avoid this happening when on holiday or travelling abroad is to turn off Bluetooth.
Activate passcodes, passwords, TouchID and auto locks on all devices
If you haven’t been using password protection or auto lock features on your devices, then now is the time to start. If your device becomes lost, stolen or simply left unattended, anyone that picks it up will have unrestricted access. This could result in personal data being stolen, phone calls being made or unwanted services/apps being purchases and could result in considerable financial cost. A would-be criminal will have a much harder time getting into your device if you are using a security feature like TouchID or if there’s a password/passcode/auto lock set.
Don’t use public WiFi
This is probably one of the most important measures to take especially if you’re traveling abroad. Other countries don’t have the same regulations on public Wi-Fi as Central Europe does, so sticking to a password-protected network, like the ones offered at most hotels, is your safest option if you need to access the Internet.
Don’t click on links or open attachments in unsolicited email
Clicking on a link or opening an attachment in unsolicited email may install malware, like viruses, spyware, or ransomware, on your device. This is all done behind the scenes, so it is undetectable to the average user. Once the malware has been installed, it could harvest your sensitive information, send out more phishing emails to contacts in your address book or provide a scammer with remote access to your device. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t know who the sender is then don’t open the email.
Keep your children well-informed and safe online
Young children are now spending more time online than ever before and It’s our responsibility as parents to ensure they are kept safe online. While mobile devices make it easier for children to keep up and connect with their friends on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp and Snapchat, they can also make it easier for children and teens to be exposed to serious dangers like sexting, cyber bullying, online grooming and sexual exploitation.
With the digital world changing all the time, how can you make sure your child’s staying safe? One of the most important steps you can take as a parent is to talk to your child about online safety and the hidden dangers of using the internet. It’s also advisable to set up parental controls on any devices they use and limit the amount of time they can actually spend online.
One product on the market that boasts a comprehensive range of features to help parents manage their child’s internet use and protect all of their devices is Kaspersky Security Cloud. Parents can create multiple accounts for their children and adjust the settings accordingly to control what they access on which device, how long they can spend on online or the hours that they can go online. Parents can also create alerts and be informed of a child’s internet usage and also if they have tried to disable or uninstall the app. There is also advice for parents built into the app to help them help their children learn and understand the online world and how to navigate it safely.
As well as providing a suite of features aimed at keeping children safe online, Kaspersky Security Cloud also provides protection against malware, viruses and other security issues, offers the facility to create and store strong passwords and records search history. It also makes connecting to public WiFi safer by stopping your messages from falling into the wrong hands and keeping passwords, personal information and card/bank details locked in a secure vault.
In conclusion, threats are everywhere and in many ways the risks are the same whether your family is using a laptop, mobile or tablet device. If it’s internet connected, it’s exposed to cybercriminals, hackers and security issues, but there are simple steps you can take to protect your family’s devices and manage your children’s online activity while on holiday.