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Vacation and Travel Security Tips

Family taking a picture while on vacation.

Before you embark on your next adventure, consider downloading Chelsea Groton’s SmartCard App. Use it to create travel plans for seamless access to your Chelsea Groton Visa® Debit and Credit Cards on the go, then check out this article from the National Cybersecurity Alliance for more ways to protect yourself on your next trip!

Even if you leave your desktop computer at home, you’ll probably stay connected when you’re vacationing – you can check your phone on the beach or on a mountaintop. Travelers often rely on technology to enhance vacations, by sharing photos online or to find a place to eat.

As you embark upon your next adventure, remain cyber safe following some simple practices to keep your vacation plans free from cybercriminal meddling.


• Travel lightly – Limit the number of devices you take with you on your trip. The more laptops, tablets, and smartphones you take with you, the more risk you open yourself up to.

• Check your settings – Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps. Set limits on how and with whom you share information. You might want to change some features, like location tracking, when you are away from home.

• Set up the “find my phone” feature – Not only will this feature allow you to locate your phone, it gives you the power to remotely wipe data or disable the device if it gets into the wrong hands.

• Password protect your devices – Set your devices to require the use of a PIN, passcode or extra security feature (like a fingerprint or facial scan). This will keep your phone, tablet or laptop locked if it is misplaced or stolen.


• Actively manage location services – Location tools come in handy while navigating a new place, but they can also expose your location ‒ even through photos. Turn off location services when not in use and consider limiting how you share your location on social media.

• Use secure Wi-Fi – Do not transmit personal info or make purchases on unsecure or public Wi-Fi networks. Don’t access key accounts like email or banking on public Wi-Fi. Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your phone as a personal hotspot to surf more securely.

• Think before you post – Think twice before posting pictures that indicate you are away. Wait until you get back to share your magical memories with the whole internet. You might not want everyone to know you aren’t at home.

• Stop auto connecting – When away from home, disable remote connectivity and Bluetooth. Some devices will automatically seek and connect to available wireless networks. Bluetooth enables your device to connect wirelessly with other devices, such as headphones or automobile infotainment systems. Disable these features so that you only connect to wireless and Bluetooth networks when you want to. If you do not need them, switch them off. While out and about, these features can provide roving cybercriminals access to your devices.

• If you share computers, don’t share information – Avoid public computers in hotel lobbies and internet cafes, especially for making online purchases or accessing your accounts. If you must use a public computer, keep your activities as generic and anonymous as possible. Avoid inputting credit card information or accessing financial accounts. If you do log into accounts, such as email, always click “logout” when you are finished. Simply closing the browser does not log you out of accounts.