Holiday Hacking: Here's a list you need to check twice

With more than 100 million people on planes, trains and automobiles from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, there are millions of phones to be lost, travelers to hack and gigabytes to be erased. That’s why Matrix Integration, a strategic IT infrastructure partner for more than 1,000 businesses in Indiana and beyond, is offering five critical tips for keeping travelers’ devices and data safe during the holidays. The holidays can be a feast for hackers, so be safe.

“When you travel, there’s always the possibility of leaving your phone somewhere or tapping into an unknown Wi-Fi connection, making your data vulnerable to getting lost or stolen,” said Chris Martin, security expert & solutions architect at Matrix Integration. “There are people who will take advantage of situations like crowds during the holidays.”

Matrix Integration works with all types of organizations to create security plans to prevent cyberattacks and keep data safe. Many solutions are implemented enterprise-wide, but there are precautions individuals can take to protect themselves.

Matrix Integration’s Top Five Cybersecurity Tips for Holiday Travel

Back up everything. Before a trip, take the time to back up critical data. It only takes a few minutes, but can save hours or days if a device is lost or damaged.

Patch and protect. Also before leaving: update devices with the most recent operating systems and software. Companies continuously update software with security patches, so the more up-to-date devices are, the less chance they have of getting hacked.

Beware of Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a fast and easy way to connect devices, but it can also provide a direct link for smart cybercriminals to access personal information. If possible, disable Bluetooth in busy crowded spaces.

No paper passwords. It’s tempting to keep passwords written down, but this makes them easy to steal. Instead, look for well-known password management software. These applications encrypt data, allowing for safe storage of passwords as well as critical-but-sensitive information like passport numbers and financial accounts.

Be mindful of surroundings. Crowded travel areas are often a target for traditional criminals as well as digital criminals. Don’t peruse private personal data like bank accounts, or type in passwords that others can see. If devices are updated and data is backed up, people are much less likely to lose personal, private information while traveling. When it comes to businesses protecting their information, Matrix Integration collaborates with clients to identify their most important assets, come up with a plan to protect and detect those assets, and provide tools to discover and respond to attacks before they can cause damage. Types of solutions include robust identity management systems so passwords are harder to steal, data encryption software, and staff training.

More insight into cybersecurity and more information on Matrix Integration can be found at www.matrixintegration.com.

Matrix Integration is a trusted information technology solutions provider that has been in business for 40 years. Winner of the 2019 Indiana Economic Development Center Small Business Impact Award, and the 2018 Indiana Women’s Business Enterprise of the Year, Matrix Integration continues to be recognized on numerous industry lists including Diversity Business Top Business, CRN Solution Provider 500, CRN Managed Service Provider Elite 150, CRN Women of the Channel, and CRN Tech Elite 250