Now that the UK school summer holiday is underway computer security is almost certainly the last thing on your mind when doing the last minute packing for the family holiday. However, if you are thinking of putting the laptop in the suitcase to keep the children entertained on long journeys and to help you keep up to date with social networks, or to download the all-important holiday snaps, then take a few minutes to ensure you give computer its own 'high factor' protection. Kaspersky Lab is offering some some good practical advice to travellers.
Before you go
- Don't write on your social network or your work email Out Of Office that you are going on holiday. This is almost an open invitation to burglars and other criminals to come and rifle your property whilst you are away enjoying yourself.
- Make sure you have all the latest security patches installed, including patches for third party applications such as PDF readers, browsers, chat programs, etc.
- Don't forget to pack a power adapter that will work in the country you are visiting.
- Finally, if you use your smartphone to access the Internet, switch off the roaming function before you travel to another country as the charges to download content (particularly video) can soon spiral out of control.
Whilst you are away
- Check how much the hotel is charging for access to the Internet.
- Make sure that your antivirus is kept up-to-date. You never know what might be lurking on the network!
- Keep your laptop hidden from view and lock it away when you are not using it.
- Download holiday photos, videos etc on to a USB and keep it separate from the laptop, so if either are stolen, you don't lose those precious memories.
- Don't enter credit card details or passwords online unless it's essential, and only if you are confident the network you are using is secure.
- Don't update your social networking sites with holiday updates and photos. Wait until you get home before making everyone else envious.
- If you're paranoid, disable programs that autostart such as Skype or MSN – you wouldn't want someone to steal your passwords over an insecure network.
- If you are not taking a laptop but still want to access the Internet via the hotel or cybercafé, then ensure that you are cautious of what information you enter (you cannot be sure the owner is as diligent about security as you) and a always make sure you log out of all the sites you visit correctly.
When you get back
- Double-check all bank statements to ensure you have not been a victim of cybercrime.
David Jacoby, Senior Security Researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab comments: "Ignoring security patches and antivirus updates while you're on holiday means that if you log on, you are putting yourself at unnecessary risk. Holidays are about enjoying yourself, relaxing and having fun with the family, the last thing you want is to get home to find out that you have a great tan but have still been burnt!"
Available from July 2010, Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 protects consumers' digital identity and money online. Kaspersky Lab's flagship product offers consumers unsurpassed protection against all kinds of threats. The new generation takes full advantage of the most innovative security technologies to keep PCs and laptops clean and families safe. For more information please visit: http://www.kaspersky.co.uk/kis2011.