Online security

19 July 2018

8 tips for staying safe online on holiday

Many of us like to stay online while on holiday. We enjoy sharing photos of that white beach, that colourful cocktail or that amazing waterfall with friends and family on social media or via video chat. Using free WiFi where possible to keep down your use of data. But remember there are risks…

Read on for 8 tips for staying safe online on holiday

1.      Use a secure WiFi

a. Turn WiFi off when you are not using it. This ensures you only connect to the internet when you want to

b. Avoid public WiFi networks that are not password protected – they make it very easy for hackers to see everything you do online

c. Only choose encrypted WiFi networks. You can easily see in your settings whether a network is secure

d. Where possible, it is best to simply use 3G or 4G as these connections are better protected. The costs within Europe are the same as in Belgium

2.      Do not announce you are going away

However tempting and fun it may be, avoid announcing on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter that you are going on holiday. The information on your profile may be more public than you think, and you never know who is reading what

3.      Do not share photos of confidential documents

It may be a pretty snapshot: your boarding pass together with the photo page of your passport. But you are giving away a huge amount of confidential info, possibly even enough for someone to steal your identity

4.      Only visit secure websites

The same rule applies on holiday as at home: secure sites can easily be identified by https at the start of the internet address, or the padlock icon. Some mobile browsers warn you of unsafe sites

5.      Turn off geotagging

In your privacy or location settings you can check which applications can use your location or pass it on to third parties and under what conditions. Your exact location is a potential goldmine of information and often reveals your whereabouts, for example if you post something on social media

6.      Avoid internet cafés

PCs in internet cafés are often infected with malware that targets your data. If you cannot avoid it, limit your use to secure websites or services you can only access with a password or two-step verification.

7.      Anti-virus and anti-malware programs

It is best to also have an anti-virus and anti-malware program installed on your mobile devices. Ensure that you always keep it up-to-date.

8.      Secure your devices

Do not leave your devices in your hotel room while on holiday or on display in your vehicle. Use a strong password. This ensures that if your device is lost or stolen, the information on it cannot be accessed.

Find it difficult to think up and remember strong passwords? You can also choose a ‘pass phrase’. A phrase is more secure and easier to remember. Read more in this article.

Good to know

Surfing the internet in another country in the European Union will not cost you anything extra as the same rates apply as in Belgium. Browsing limits do apply through: make sure you check with your provider so that you don’t exceed the data limits! It’s also useful to know that you can monitor your data consumption using your provider’s mobile app.

Devices lost or stolen?
  • Make a back-up of your devices

A back-up means you always have a copy of your data if anything happens. Check for anything you don’t need before you go on holiday and remove all unnecessary information. This will reduce the impact if your devices are lost or stolen. Many mobile devices have a built-in function that allows you to locate and wipe your device remotely if it goes missing. Make sure this function is turned on.

  • Check regularly that you are properly protected

Don’t hesitate to consult our ‘Online security’ page. Here you can check you have taken all the necessary precautions when surfing the internet, whether on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

  • Device lost or stolen?

Block your Smartbanking and/or Home’Bank subscription by calling +32 2 464 60 04.

Bank cards also stolen? Call Card Stop on +32 70 344 344.