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One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
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Table of Contents (view all)

Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
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


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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.
See www.usatoday.com/money/industries/travel/story/2011-12-12/Travelers-at-high-risk-of-identify-theft-experts-say/51841144/1

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.

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