Mobile Lifestyle

onlineshoppingInternet Access on the Road

Want to check your email while you are traveling but don't want to take a laptop with you? If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can set up your email on it. Another option is to use your email provider's webmail through the device's browser or through an app.

Public WiFi connections or hotspots are not secure. Don't use these connections for any activities that you need to provide any personal or financial information. If you must use one, connect using a VPN or virtual private network. A VPN encrypts the internet traffic between your device's browser and the VPN service's server. There are many VPN services so read the privacy polices and terms of service before choosing one.

This article from StaySafeOnline provides tips for protecting your mobile device and your personal information that's on it.

Traveling with a computer

You need to take precautions when traveling with a computer. You need to protect your data and you need to protect the computer itself. If your computer is lost or stolen, you don't want any personal data on the computer to fall into the wrong hands. These tips from the US Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) can help:

Using public, friends', or family computers

If you don't travel with a computer, then you need access to a computer. You may find "public" computers in libraries, Internet cafes, Airline courtesy clubs or hotel business services rooms. Or you may be using the private computers of friends. When using a computer that isn't yours, check out that its security protections—such as antivirus, firewall, anti-spyware—are up to date before using it for your banking or other private transactions.

For public computers, ask yourself these questions before using it:

  • Can anyone access the computer connections?
  • Can anyone install software on the machine—from disc or downloaded?
  • Can anyone make configuration changes to the software?
  • Is the guest account an administrative account?

If you answered yes (or "I don't know") to one or more of these questions, then don't use the computer for online shopping, online account access, online banking, online bill pay, or anything else that requires you to enter credit card numbers, a user id or password, or any other identifying information.

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