Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box
Security Starts With You
New Regulatory Changes: Do They Apply to Your Area?
Protecting Yourself from Rogue AntiVirus Warning Scams
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Handling Documents and Data of Faculty and Staff Who Have Left Penn
Spring Cleaning Your Office? Know What to Do with E-Waste
Keep Your Identity Safe When Filing Taxes This Year
Why use Penn+Box when Storing Data in the Cloud
Mobile Device Security - 3 Recommendations for Cloud Users (Hint: That's You!)
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - Almanac Vol. 58, No. 23
Travel and Identity Theft - An Unfortunate Connection
While the risk of identity theft affects everyone from infants to the deceased, the avid traveler is at heightened risk of falling victim to this crime. According to USA Today, several circumstances combine to make the frequent traveler a preferred target of identity thieves:
- Travelers rely on mobile electronic devices that are easily lost or stolen. Credent Technologies reported that in 2011 travelers lost 11,000 mobile devices at the busiest US airports alone
- Travelers often use unsecured wireless networks at hotels, airports and other public areas, easily exposing their traffic to thieves nearby.
- Thieves use Bluetooth technology to "pair" with the innocent traveler's own Bluetooth device, again gaining easy access to the traveler's information.
What to do? First, take with you only the personal or otherwise confidential information that you absolutely need. Second, talk to your LSP about encryption options, making sure to consult with Penn's Export Controls Office if there is any controlled information involved. Also, avoid unsecured wireless networks and connect to your data using secure VPNs when possible. Disable Bluetooth technology when you are not using it.
And don't forget about sensible non-tech solutions to minimize risk. For example, only carry the credit cards you absolutely need. Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet. And use your credit card, rather than your debit card, in order to maximize your legal protections in case of fraud.
Your travel experiences should be everything you want them to be. Don't let even a small lapse in safe computing interfere.