The reality of public WiFi and Internet cafes
When traveling it's convenient to use public Wi-Fi hotspots in places like airports and restaurants, but 52 percent of people say they are concerned about the security and privacy of public Wi-Fi, and rightly so.
"It may feel private because you're using your personal device, but it's not," Sullivan shared. He advises against doing anything via public Wi-Fi that you wouldn't want an eavesdropper to know -- including logging into accounts with passwords. "I use public Wi-Fi happily for a topic I would discuss with a friend on the metro. Banking, I do at home," he stated.
The same goes for using public computers in places like libraries or Internet cafes. Sullivan recommends using them only for doing innocuous things like reading the news, as password-stealing spyware could be hosted on the machine.
If you must use public means to communicate with loved ones, one tip is to create a separate vacation email account that you'll use only while on holiday. "That way if someone hacks your vacation email account, they might see emails with your mom and the cat sitter, but they won't have access to the other sensitive data that would be in your main email account," he concludes.
Banking away from home
When it comes to dealing with personal finances, 85 percent of people say they do online banking from their computers, and 24 percent from their smartphones. So what if you absolutely must make a transaction while on vacation? It's probably best to use your mobile data plan with your bank's mobile app, even if it means roaming a bit. It may cost more but it's cheaper than getting your account cleaned out.
But banks use https connections, so aren't they safe even through public Wi-Fi? Usually, but it's important to be aware of other factors as well. 39 percent of people report to using just one or a few passwords for all their accounts. So potentially, if you use the same password at an unsecured site that you use at your bank's secure one, a snoop could access your bank account too. Snoopers also use low-tech methods, simply peeking over your shoulder as you enter a password.
Keeping content safe on the go
Illustrating the importance of taking backups before leaving on a trip, 67 percent of people value the content on their device more than the device itself. Or by using a content synchronization service such as F-Secure's Content Anywhere, which F-Secure provides through operators, consumers can have their device content automatically synced to their personal cloud. Such services remove the need to take along clunky storage devices, and make it easy to safely and privately share photos with friends while on holiday. Data with F-Secure's consumer content cloud is fully encrypted during transfer and in storage.
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