When you’re preparing to leave your house for time away, you probably have a long to-do list, no matter how long you’ll be away. One of the most important tasks should include protecting yourself and your digital devices that are loaded with valuable information. Take precautions to avoid the chance of identity theft or hacking.
Before You Leave
- If you’re going on a long weekend or trip, wait to post your adventures on social media until you get home just to be safe. You don’t want the wrong person to take advantage of your absence.
- Update all devices before you leave and make sure your firewalls are secured to prevent hackers from getting access while you’re gone.
- Secure all important documents, including passwords to accounts, Wi-Fi passcodes.
- Set up lock screens, timeout functions, device tracking, and Multi-Factor Authentication for your devices for extra security while you’re away. If they get lost or stolen, these precautions will make it harder for hackers to get access and might be easier for you to track down the location of your device.
Don’t Stay Connected
- Turn off the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections when you’re not using them, so they don’t automatically join public, unsecured networks.
- If you’re using a public Wi-Fi network, review the network name to ensure it’s safe to join. When you’re done scrolling, go into your Wi-Fi settings and click ‘Forget Network’ as an extra measure of security.
- If you need to charge your devices while away, make sure you are using a safe charger. Don’t use a charger that is not yours or directly connected to an electrical outlet. Hackers have used chargers to maliciously connect to devices and steal information.
While You’re Gone
- To be safe, avoid checking important accounts such as banking while you’re away.
- Wipe down your devices more than usual. Not only will it help keep your devices clean and germ free, wiping away fingerprints can erase any indication on your passwords- making it harder for hackers to get access to your device.
Whether you’re enjoying a vacation or visiting family out of town, keep yourself and your digital footprint safe. Reach out to your local Rural Mutual agent or visit our Cybersecurity learning center for additional tips for being safe online.