Friday, June 22, 2012

F-Secure Presents 5 Ways to Connect Safely on Vacation

F-Secure Logo.jpg
I've been a fan of F-Secure for years now.  I discovered them when they helped discover and eliminate the Sony Root Kit and I've been a big promoter of them ever since.
The company makes a great security suite for Windows PCs and they also make a tremendous anti-virus program for the Mac OS.  In fact, last year my friends & I on the Pride Institute Best of Class Technology Panel gave a Best of Class award to the company for their superior products.  Not only does F-Secure protect your computer, it also doesn't bot it down with bloatware or make itself impossible to uninstall (although why you would want to is beyond me).
The company also does a nice job of communicating with their customers via email and also through a great blog that is full of info on how to keep your computer secure.
Recently, they notified me of an article they had posted on the blog about 5 ways to connect safely on vacation.  Here are the 5 recommendations.  If you'd like to head over to the blog for more info and the complete article, here is the link.  I think you'll get tons of info from reading the blog.

1. Update your devices before you go.
Make your system software is updated on your PC, smartphone and tablet at home on your safe and secure network. A patched and protected system along with updated security software is your best protection against threats. (Our free Health Check makes that easy.) Avoid taking software updates while on the road, especially while using hotel Wi-Fi. Criminals have used faked updates on hotel Wi-Fi to infect users with malware. If you follow Krebs’s Number One Rule for Staying Safe Online–“If you didn’t go looking for it, don’t install it!”—you’ll be fine.

2. Back up your hard drives and put a remote lock on your phone.
Traveling with the only digital copy of irreplaceable data or media is not a wise choice. Before you leave your house, back up your devices hard drives. (If you don’t have a backup option, you can try our Online Backup for free.) You should also put a software on your phone that gives you the ability to lock a lost phone and erase it if necessary. (Our free Anti-Theft for Mobile does this for Android and Symbian phones.)

3. Use direct DSL or cable connection when you can; if not, use encrypted Wi-Fi with a VPN.
If free public Wi-Fi is your only option and you do not have a VPN, consider yourself watched. Try to use one-time passwords for services that offer them such as Facebook and Hotmail. Using free Wi-Fi or a public computer for shopping and banking is definitely not recommended.

4. Don’t click on links or attachments in email, especially from email you were not expecting.
This is a piece of advice from the Labs that we keep repeating because everyone knows the attachment but the link part is new. Links can lead to scams, which on your phone especially may look as official as any bank website.

5. Be careful about sharing your location.
Most of the fear about sharing location online comes from a very few examples of people being robbed by Facebook friends. The basic rule is don’t tell anyone online that you’re not home who you wouldn’t tell in real life. So you probably don’t want to broadcast your vacation on your public social networks. Why not use email—like we did in the olden days?

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