The Placer Title Company team was already planning to write on the issue of cybersecurity this month – before a major ransomware attack sidelined a big title industry tech vendor. While our operations were not affected by this incident, current events certainly put the issue in the spotlight. That’s why we wanted to remind you it’s important to be cyber aware, especially when on the road.

Being away from the office doesn’t mean you’re immune from a cyberattack or email phishing. In fact, you might be more susceptible. For many of us, it has been a while since we traveled with any regularity. As the partner you can trust, your Placer Title team wanted to take some time to talk about the importance of cyber security while away from your home base.

Let’s start with phone safety.

  • Turn on password protection for all your devices. Whether it’s a passcode or a security feature, this creates an extra level of safety if your phone is lost or stolen.
  • Consider turning off Bluetooth and Location Sharing. We know these are popular features and very useful to you. However, Bluetooth makes it easy for hackers to get into your device, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid.
  • Enable the “find my phone” feature on your devices, so you can find and remotely wipe your phone’s data. You’ll also be able to disable the device if need be.

This next part is important—Wi-Fi. We understand that we all love free Wi-Fi. It saves you data and is often faster than your phone provider. But free Wi-Fi isn’t worth your identity. 

  • Avoid logging on to accounts that have sensitive or personal information when you’re on public Wi-Fi. This means no checking your bank account while on an open connection.
  • Try using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot for the times you do need a secure connection.
  • While we all love seamless connections, enable your device to ask for permission before automatically connecting to a Wi-Fi network.

Bonus! Here are a couple extra travel tips from Raytheon and the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center

  • Let your IT department know you’ll be traveling . This is especially helpful if you are working on something important for work. And make sure your antivirus software is good to go.
  • Updates are great, but vacation is not the time to install them. Wait until you’re back on a secure network since some “updates” may include malware in disguise. (Or even better, update before you go.)
  • For an extra layer of security, change any passwords you expect to use while traveling before you leave and then change them again when you return. (Always use strong passwords, of course.)

It’s been a hectic, challenging year, and we all deserve a little time away. By staying safe and secure, you’ll be protected while on the road and ready to work harder for your customers once you return.