Going on holiday? Keep your data safe in the sun

Summer’s here, and it’s time to head off for some sun, sea and sand. But while you’re probably looking forward to leaving your worries behind, you still need to keep an eye on information security, or identity thieves could take advantage of your carefree mood and gain valuable information about you. Here are our eight top tips for staying safe.

Boarding passes

If you take a flight, make sure you securely destroy your boarding passes once you’ve completed your trip. They contain confidential details that could be valuable to thieves.

Travel itineraries

Your travel plans contain personal information and also show exactly when you’re going to be away from home, making them an open invitation to burglars. Make sure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Travel insurance documents

If you need to keep insurance documents with you when you travel, try to store them securely in a safe while you’re away from home. On your return, securely destroy any trip-specific documents that you no longer need.

Car park documents

Car parking documentation is easy to forget about, but it still contains valuable information, including your personal details and your vehicle registration. Make sure you shred it after your trip.

Social media

When you’re excited about an upcoming trip, it’s only natural that you want to share your plans on social media. Some travellers even post images of their passports, boarding passes or other travel documents.

The problem is that thieves and burglars can easily see what you share, and use the information to target you or your home.

If you must post about your holiday online, make sure you don’t mention any specific dates, locations or travel plans.

Booking websites

With so many cheap holidays out there, many of us head to booking websites to search out the best deals. However, it’s important to make sure you’re using a genuine service provider, and not a scammer hoping to harvest your details.

Make sure the site offers a secure connection (indicated by a padlock next to the address of the website in your browser) and confirm the real-world details of the business before submitting your payment details if you can.

You can also opt for payment methods that offer some protection against fraud, such as credit cards and PayPal.

Computers and devices

If you have any desktop computers at home, or if you have any laptops, tablets or other devices that you’re not taking with you, make sure they are safely powered down and securely stored away.

Remember to set up a password on every device you can, so thieves can’t easily access the information even if they get their hands on the device itself.

Public Wi-Fi

We’ve all grown accustomed to having Wi-Fi on tap, and if you live in an urban area, you can often access it out of home too. But when you’re far from home, it’s harder to tell exactly what you’re linking up with. Try to avoid using public Wi-Fi, particularly if you plan to use a banking service or log on to any other site or app that holds personal details.