Safe Family Holiday: Must Dos in the Digital Age

Vacation season is just around the corner – are you prepared? Working on getting into shape and sprucing your wardrobe up is fine. Still, you and your loved ones should also account for digital protection.

Working on my laptop

A holiday is no time to sleep on cybersecurity, so follow our simple guide to enjoy some stress-free yet safe R&R.

Before heading out

Prep work is crucial if you want a vacation free from cyber threats. You can and should do much to lay the groundwork.

Beware of phishing scams

The time leading up to the summer & winter holidays is when scammers ramp up their activities. They might send emails posing as airlines or travel agencies offering amazing deals if you sign up to their fake websites. Learn how to recognise such attempts and only deal with reputable companies on your own terms.

Decide which devices to bring…

Less is more when packing for a vacation, especially when it comes to electronic devices. You’re on holiday – do you really need to lug a laptop or tablet around? Sticking to the essentials reduces the likelihood of loss and theft while also reducing the attack surface for potential hackers.

… And make sure they’re updated

Update the operating system, firmware, apps, etc, for any devices you decide to bring. Running the latest version of everything means cyber crooks can’t exploit known vulnerabilities and access your accounts or files.

Turn automatic connections off

Most people set their phones & laptops up to pair with available connections automatically. Great for home Wi-Fi and your Bluetooth gadgets, a bad idea for vulnerable public Wi-Fi in foreign countries. Turn this feature off before leaving for peace of mind.

Set your finances up

You can boost money security while traveling in several ways. One is to get a prepaid travel card and only use it for vacation expenses. That way, you’ll never expose your main accounts’ credentials and can only lose a limited amount in the worst case.

Alternatively, you may use your credit card and get some nice rewards while you’re at it. Let your bank know when you’re going abroad so worldwide payments can go through. Remember to revert such permissions when you get back.

Update everyone’s passwords

Samey passwords used for multiple logins can turn data breaches from preventable nuisances into serious threats. You’ll want resilient, unique passwords for each account, especially for booking travel arrangements and other services that link account details to personal and payment information.

Setting up unique credentials for each family member’s accounts is easier with a password manager like NordPass. It has an encrypted vault that stores limitless passwords, can fill them in automatically, and comes with multi-factor authentication for extra security.

Back up your data

Phones and other devices hold contacts, files, and memories you’d be devastated to lose. Backing such data up to the cloud or a physical drive will keep it safe even if you lose your devices.

Get the kids onboard

You might be security conscious, but what about your kids? Sit them down & establish cybersecurity practices for them to follow when on vacation. Explain why it’s important to stay vigilant and set a good example.

During the Vacation

It’s finally time to soak up the sun and put your cybersecurity knowledge to good use! Here’s what to keep in mind while vacationing.

Avoid public charging stations and Wi-Fi

Cyber safety troubles start as early as the airport. Seemingly considerate services like free charging ports can turn out to be hotbeds of viruses and malware. Get an international charger and use a plug instead, or carry a power bank.

You’ll encounter lots of establishments with free Wi-Fi. Such networks are easy to hack and monitor, providing cyber crooks with account credentials, payment info, and other sensitive data careless visitors expose. Never use public Wi-Fi without encrypting the connection with a VPN first. Even then, stick to general browsing.

Don’t use publicly available computers

Hotel lobbies and internet cafés draw visitors with free or cheap computer time. You don’t know who’s been touching their keyboards, let alone tampering with files. Avoid such computers altogether, and never connect your devices to them.

Keep your phones locked

You’ll want to trade some convenience in for extra security by keeping everyone’s phones locked. Make sure you need a PIN or biometrics like fingerprints to unlock the phone each time the screen goes dark. Moreover, try to use your phones in a way that prevents onlookers from seeing what you’re up to.

Go easy on social media

Some people can’t wait to fill their online friends in on all their holiday activities. Some after-vacation bragging won’t hurt. However, posting about your adventures as they unfold lets people who follow your socials know you’re not at home, increasing the chances of break-ins & theft.

Keep an eye out for skimmers

Credit card skimmers plague ATMS and even checkouts, hijacking your CC info and stealing your money. Don’t be embarrassed to inspect all ATM and POS devices and give them a firm tug if you’re suspicious.


Cybersecurity preparedness isn’t complicated and doesn’t take long, yet it will do wonders for your peace of mind once it’s time to pack those bags. Consider the security measures we mentioned, like VPN and NordPass, and that will be one step. Another will be keeping our tips in mind before and during your journeys. Have a safe, unforgettable trip!

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