Have you been on a vacation this year? Let’s say you headed somewhere relaxing, maybe a favorite vacation spot and you left your work laptop at home so you could use some much-needed downtime. You enjoy the beach during the day time, favorite restaurants during the day, and then at night, you binge on Netflix while eating your favorite snacks. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well not when you get a call from your bank a month later saying they have identified a remote login or how about your social media account taken over by someone that’s not you? Are you wondering how in the world this could happen? Well, cybercriminals are everywhere and can even attack and obtain your credentials while you are on vacation!

How do you wonder this happens?

Wi-Fi routers or even smart TVs in a vacation rental are not necessarily safe, and it isn’t because the rental owner had a plan to steal your credentials. Since these type of devices are available to the public, they are also available to be manipulated by cybercriminals. Keyloggers and access to administrative functions are too often easily obtained, giving hackers access to your data.

So what do you need to do to protect yourself during vacation? Follow these 6 tips to protect yourself while on vacation:

Install Passwords/Pins On Your Mobile Device

Before leaving for vacation, add a password or pin to all of your mobile devices. If the mobile device is left unattended, lost or stolen, then a criminal would have a harder time getting into that device if there is a password or pin.

Turn Off Automatic Bluetooth Connectivity

Don’t forget to turn off Bluetooth when you go to public places, especially while on vacation. With your Bluetooth connectivity left open, anyone sitting in a coffee shop, restaurant, hotel lobby, etc. can pick up that signal and gain access to your phone and all of your information.

Don’t Reuse Passwords

Change your passwords up and never use the same ones.

Always keep your software and hardware up to date 

Check to see if your devices need to run the newest update so that your computer can fix any bugs with the newest update.

Use a VPN for Wi-Fi

This is best to use if it’s an option since VPNs use encryption to scramble your data around when it’s sent over a Wi-Fi network. VPNs help prevent anyone else on the network to eavesdrop on your data activity.

Always Log Off

If you do use public Wi-FI or a public computer to access any account (even Netflix), immediately log off when you are finished.

So remember the only thing you want to leave behind at your vacation rental, is memories of an enjoyable trip!