Cyber Security over the Holidays is Essential

With so much going on around the holidays, it's easy to forget about holiday cyber security risks. It's all too easy to think that everyone is working to get on the "nice list" during crunch time, but sadly, when it comes to hackers, that isn't the case. So while you're making your way to festivities, cybercriminals are working round the clock to capture your valuable data--data that's ripe for the picking on your cell phone, your laptop, your notepad and even your printed boarding pass and itinerary.

Cyber security during your holiday travels is essential to ensure you don't gift hackers with your personal data. Here are some of the holiday cyber security risks that exist during travel.

Be aware of these holiday travel cyber security risks and tips

Your boarding pass

Whether electronic or printed, boarding passes contain a wealth of information about you--info that cybercriminals want to get. Criminals are even picking up carelessly discarded printed boarding passes to gain access to the miles and points travelers have, and could even modify flights.

Rogue Wi-Fi networks

Who doesn't need Wi-Fi when they're on the road? Hackers know this, and they entice you into their open network with the promise of free connectivity. Be wary of any open, free network in airports or major transit hubs. Cybercriminals could be waiting for someone like you to log on, so they can capture your data.

If you must use an open Wi-Fi network, limit what you access

Accessing your financial information or other personal information while at the airport is a recipe for trouble, if you're on Wi-Fi. Hackers are so sophisticated they can actually see your screen, and can even read passwords that are hidden on your screen. Paying bills, checking bank balances, transferring money...it's all risky. Avoid if at all possible until you get home.

Charging your device? Think twice.

When you run out of juice and you know you'll need it for the next leg of your journey, it's tempting to plug into one of those free USB ports. Not so fast. You may want to consider picking up a mobile security gadget to protect your cell before connecting with those ports.

Update your security software

Be sure to update your security software both before you leave home, and upon your return. Your devices may be compromised, particularly if you've accessed open networks while abroad.

Holiday cyber security risks: the bah, humbug of holiday travel

No one wants to contemplate holiday cyber security risks, particularly when there are last minute gifts to buy. But a little forethought and common sense can help protect your cyber security throughout the holidays and beyond.

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