laptop on the beach

You’re going on vacation, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be obsessively checking your email and surfing the web. Which means that somewhere buried in your luggage is your laptop. Heck, it will probably be the first thing you unpack. But, have you thought about protecting your privacy while you’re there out soaking up the sun? Maybe not.

Your privacy is always under attack, but even more so when you travel. There’s two things you’ll want to do to protect your privacy while on vacation. First, you want to keep the bad guys out of your computer. Second, if they do happen to get in, you’ll want them to do as little damage as possible. With that in mind, here are five tips for protecting your privacy while you’re getting a tan:

1. Password Protect Your Computer

If you don’t travel with your laptop frequently, it may not be password protected. Maybe you think it’s a pain to have to set a password if you’re not planning on taking it outside your hotel room. Being on vacation can make you lethargic, but that isn’t the time to be lazy. Unless you’re prepared to stand guard 24 hours per day, it’s a good idea to password protect your laptop. You never know who has access to your room.

2. Avoid Unsecured WiFi

To get online, you’ll probably be using public WiFi, which is okay. But, if you care about your privacy, you’ll stay off open (i.e., unsecured) WiFi. In other words, make sure the WiFi you connect to requires a password. And make sure that password isn’t publicly available, generic or reused.

3. Only Connect to Secure Websites

By now, you’re probably familiar with secured websites that use the HTTPS protocol. As shown in the images below, the URL says HTTPS and they often display a little lock in the address bar .

Here’s how to tell if you are browsing a secure website:


Secure website icon in Google Chrome

Microsoft Edge:

Secure website icon in Microsoft Edge

Mozilla Firefox:

Secure website icon in Firefox


Secure website icon in Safari

HTTPS enables you to communicate with that website over an encrypted link, which is an excellent way to protect your privacy. You should limit all your online activity while on vacation to only those website equipped with HTTPS.

4. Make Sure There’s No Personal Information on Your Laptop

The first thing hackers look for on a computer is personal information like phone numbers, emails, passwords and credit card numbers. The best thing you can do, even before you leave for vacation, is to wipe your computer clean of your personal information.

Personal information can hide in a lot of places like logs, caches, browser cookies and local trace files. Make sure you get them all. If you’re unsure how to find and clean all those locations, check out a product like WinZip Privacy Protector. It does all the finding and cleaning for you.

5. Periodically Scan Your Laptop

No matter how many precautions you take, there’s a chance someone slipped some malware onto your laptop when you weren’t looking. It will do no harm, and may help you sleep better, if once per day you scan your laptop for malware.

Since you’re on vacation, make sure to choose a scanning utility like use WinZip Malware Protector that enables you to schedule your scans. Afterall, you’d hate to have to interrupt your surf lesson to check for computer infections.

You don’t have to compromise your privacy while on vacation. Follow these simple tips and make it tough on the bad guys.

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