Summer’s here and so is your vacation! But hackers and identity thieves don’t take time off just because you do, so it’s important to pack some cyber-safety smarts along with your holiday gear to help protect your information and identity while you’re OOO.
Before you leave, update your device’s operating system, apps and anti-virus software. Set a passcode or biometric scan (e.g., fingerprint ID) to unlock your device, which prevents thieves from accessing its data if it’s lost or stolen.
Watch out on public Wi-Fi
It’s tempting to use free, public Wi-Fi at an airport, coffee shop, theme park or shopping mall, but these networks are easily hacked, and any information you enter on your device can be intercepted. When using public Wi-Fi, make sure to use a secure VPN so you can shop, bank and chat safely on a private connection.
Check your surroundings
Use your own charger or computer to power up your device — free public charging stations can contain malicious software that’s automatically downloaded to your device when you connect. And always be aware of your surroundings to make sure no one is sneaking a peek at your logins, passwords or other info.
It’s a good idea to disable your device’s automatic Bluetooth-networking function when you’re travelling, so no one can automatically connect with your device, particularly in hotel rooms or rental homes. Likewise, pairing your device with your Bluetooth-enabled rental car can be risky: your personal information is then stored on the car’s system. If you do pair them, remember to delete all your data from the car’s system before returning it.
You may want to post travel pics, videos and stories to your social feeds to stay in touch with friends or family while you’re away, but that could be catnip to cybercriminals, who can use what you post to track you and anyone you tag. Also, avoid posting photos of plane tickets, passports or itineraries, which can contain personal information.
Stay safer with TELUS Online Security
One of the easiest — and smartest — ways to stay safer online is to sign up for TELUS Online Security Powered by Norton™, Canada’s most comprehensive all-in-one protection* for your identity, online privacy and devices.
“While Canadians are increasingly prone to cybersecurity risks while travelling and on public Wi-Fi, the truth of the matter is that we’re always at risk. In fact, according to a recent study by TELUS and Angus Reid, 45 per cent of Canadians have been or know a victim of a data breach.” says Leigh Tynan, Director of TELUS Online Security. “TELUS Online Security is a multi-layered solution that helps protect your information at all times, including when you might be exploring new places over the summer months. You can have peace of mind that your personal information is safely guarded while enjoying your vacation uninterrupted.”
The simple-to-use plans range from $10 to $30 per month, delivering an array of top-notch features to help you protect yourself. Depending on the plan you choose, they include the below features and more:
- Threat protection, including a secure VPN, so you can shop, post and chat safely on a private connection with bank-grade encryption, even while on public Wi-Fi
- Social media monitoring1,2, which notifies you if any suspicious account takeover activity is found, such as changes to your settings, on your linked social media accounts**
- Dark web monitoring3, which continuously scans the dark web and private forums for your personal information, and alerts you if it’s found. You can even find out if your personal info has been exposed on the dark web with a free scan: telus.com/DarkWeb
- Bank & credit card activity alerts***, which help protect your finances against fraud with alerts that notify you of cash withdrawals, balance transfers and large purchases****
TELUS Online Security is available to all Canadians on any carrier’s device or network, not just TELUS customers. “Our goal is to provide all Canadians with access to the country’s most comprehensive all-in-one protection for their identity, online privacy and devices,” Tynan says.
No matter where you’re headed this summer, visit telus.com/OnlineSecurity to sign up for peace of mind so you can pack your bags, stay connected and be adventurous — but not with your personal data.