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Safe summer with our 8 online security essentials

As the sun beckons and vacation plans take shape, it's not just about packing your holiday essentials; it's also about bolstering your digital defenses. In today's world, where our phones and devices are as essential as sunscreen on a beach day, leaving them behind isn’t really an option.

While traditional travel hazards like pickpocketing still exist, there's a new frontier of threats to consider. Safeguarding your devices and online presence is as crucial as shielding your wallet or your skin from the sun. So, let's embark on a journey into the realm of cyber-reads and discover how to ensure a secure and blissful summer. 


  1. Secure your connection: 

Just as you scout for the perfect spot on the beach, securing your online connection—especially on public Wi-Fi—is paramount. Connecting to these networks without adequate protection could leave your digital door wide open for cybercriminals. A study by Forbes found that 43% of people have had their online security compromised while using public Wi-Fi. Further, 23% said the incident happened at an airport, with cafés and hotels being prime locations for such incidents as well.

Fortunately, you can safely navigate public Wi-Fi hotspots and prevent unauthorized access to your sensitive data with a reliable virtual private network (VPN). By encrypting your internet traffic, a VPN app, shields your online activities from prying eyes, whether you're lounging by the pool or exploring a new city.


  1. Stay vigilant against phishing

While you might be on holiday, online criminals are not. There are many risks related to travelling, which entail hackers phishing the login credentials to your online accounts. For example, you might need to access websites and apps to travelling services, attractions, events, restaurants, etc. Criminals can hide their phishing links and traps among search results, emails, brochures behind QR codes, etc.

Phishing emails and malicious websites pose a significant threat. Exercise caution when opening links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. Our top pick for safe travels is a trustworthy security service that automatically blocks malicious sites before you land on them. With a service like TalkTalk SuperSafe, you can steer clear of phishing traps easily at home and on the go.


  1. Approach QR codes with caution: 

The use of QR codes has grown tremendously since the pandemic. Many restaurants and other services offer their menus, pricings and other essential information only through QR codes. QR codes may also link to discounts, promotions, and exclusive offers. However, scanning unknown QR codes can redirect you to phishing websites or prompt you to download malware onto your device.  

Currently, 46% of QR codes direct to a web page, and 31% to a file. Thus, to stay safe from the potential threats, use a security app that blocks both malicious sites and files automatically. That way you can scan QR codes and easily avoid the bad ones. 


  1. Protect your devices 

When travelling, you may need to download apps that make travelling easier. Similar with websites and QR codes, many hotels, museums, events, attractions, transportation, etc. require an app to work. And while these apps themselves are not a threat, criminals may create fake apps that resemble official apps almost indistinguishably.

Can you really tell real apps apart from fake ones – especially when you’re in another country? It’s better not to take any chances and stay safe against scammy apps when you are on holiday with a mobile antivirus.


  1. Shore up your digital fort:

Just like a sandcastle requires sturdy walls to withstand the incoming waves, your online accounts need strong defenses against cyber threats. As passwords are the first line of defense in protecting your online assets, start with strong and unique passwords. As said travelling may expose you to additional security risks, taking passwords into account when travelling is important. 

And while it may seem challenging to remember unique passwords, a password manager like TalkTalk SuperSafe can do that for you easily. These tools generate complex passwords and securely store them, granting you quick access to your accounts without ever forgetting a password again. And what’s best, you can synchronize your passwords between your devices, so you’ll have them with you wherever you go.


  1. Safeguard your devices and account privacy: 

While soaking up the sun, it's easy to lose track of your smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Don’t leave these devices unattended on the beach. To safeguard your digital assets, enable device encryption and biometric authentication to prevent unauthorized access. 

Additionally, consider the privacy of your social media accounts. For many of us, it is important to let friends and family follow our travels by making posts on social media. But if your accounts are not private, you are also letting burglars know you’re not home. On top, you might also advertise your location and whether you are travelling alone to local criminals. Go to your account settings and set up some privacy for your posts. 


  1. Back up your digital memories: 

Like seashells on the shore, your digital memories are precious treasures waiting to be preserved. Whether it's photos from a scenic hike or documents from a business meeting, backing up your data ensures that these memories remain intact, even if your phone gets stolen. 

Utilize cloud storage services (or external hard drives at home before travelling) to create backups of your files, and schedule regular backups to capture new memories as they unfold. By doing so, you can rest assured that your digital memories are safe and secure. 


  1. Parental control during summer 

Parental control apps enhance family vacations by managing children's screen time, encouraging engagement in real-world activities, and strengthening family bonds. These apps allow parents to set screen time limits and filter harmful content. 

This is important also when you are not around to enforce and help safe online use for children.

This could be, for example, if you are travelling without children – or vice versa, for example to summer camps. Parental control apps also provide online security for children to protect them from all the same threats mentioned earlier in this article. 


TalkTalk SuperSafe – a useful travel partner

Travelling includes security risks you might not have thought about. So, as you embark on your summer escapades, remember to fortify your digital defenses alongside your beach reads. But doing so doesn’t have to be difficult. All the security needs mentioned in this article can be covered with just one app: TalkTalk SuperSafe. It includes:


  • Browsing protection to block malicious sites and QR codes
  • Antivirus that blocks fake apps before installing them
  • A password manager for safe login on all devices
  • Parental controls to keep your children safe


With TalkTalk SuperSafe you can protect up to 10 devices keeping all of the family’s smartphones, tablets and computers safe. Go to My Account and add SuperSafe to your account. SuperSafe online security is just £6 per month.Once you’ve selected SuperSafe in My Account, you will receive an email to install the app onto your devices.

Now, with security taken care of, you can enjoy a worry-free summer at home and while travelling. So, grab your sunscreen, your favorite cyber read, and let's make this summer one to remember – both offline and online. Have a great summer!


Prices correct at time of publishing.


about simonb

I Like to travel around the Mediterranean, I have 2 grandchildren who are so entertaining. I also like cooking and socialising.

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