As we move to the close of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, this is an excellent time to review practices that will keep your identity protected whether you’re at a conference or using computer equipment in an office environment.
This blog post will focus on the things you should do, what you should expect from your rental partner, and the responsibilities of each venue (i.e., a convention center, your office) to keep your online experience safe no matter where you are.
Your Cybersecurity Checklist
- When you’re out of town, don’t share your status on social.
We have all tempted to check-into a hotel, let our friends know we are traveling to a warmer destination, or post several pictures about the trip. So…what’s the problem? Truthfully, oversharing can open you up to potentially suspicious friend requests or spearphishing. Whether you’re at a conference or on vacation, post rarely or not at all. Save all your pics and videos for when you return.
- Change your passwords regularly and implement authentication.
It may seem like an arduous task given the number of apps and sites you log into every day, but updating your passwords regularly, making them long, and difficult to guess is one of the best ways to keep bad actors at bay. Two- or multi-factor authentication provides another layer of security, especially if you’re logging into laptop rentals or a public wi-fi environment (which most event spaces venues offer). Two-factor authentication sends a message to another device, usually your phone, with a verification code when you try to login to a different computer or unknown space. The risk with two-factor authentications is if someone steals your laptop and your phone, you’re out of luck. However, multi-factor (i.e. facial recognition, having an outside person verify you’re logging in by calling you) makes it extremely difficult if not impossible for someone to hack into your phone or laptop if it’s lost, stolen, or damaged. According to John Ford, CISO for ConnectWise, “The simplest thing SMBs can do to protect themselves from cyber threats is to enable multifactor authentication.”
- Make sure your operating system and apps are up to date – and maybe add anti-virus software.
On your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop devices, you can turn on automatic updates of the operating systems, and they will usually run during off-hours. Most current level operating systems have virus protection baked into the software, so you don’t have to purchase additional programs. Check out your OS to learn more. Delete unused or expired software programs and applications. Why do this? Hackers get into most systems through back level software, especially those levels that are no longer supported by the manufacturer. Remember Windows XP? The malware program called WannaCry got into systems through that operating system, knowing full well that Microsoft hadn’t supported it for years.
Rental Partner Reminders
- Find out about their software security protocol.
Ideally, when you rent iPads, laptops, or desktops, you want the latest operating systems and anti-virus software installed. If they are installing your apps, make sure the rental provider is installing the most recent versions.
- Ensure their internet hotspot rentals have firmware that’s up to date.
Sometimes the meeting location doesn’t have enough bandwidth. Therefore, you need to rent additional equipment to service the internet needs of your attendees. You’ll want to have a conversation about the firmware. And passwords are changed just before your event and after as well.
- Ask the hotel manager to put together a list of the valid Wi-Fi networks and a phishing reminder checklist for each of your guests.
- The Wi-Fi information should have the name of the network, log-in procedures, and the phone number or email to report any problems.
- Often hackers will have a hotspot name that’s very close to the venue. For example, if their Wi-Fi name is HiltonHotel, the hacker will use HitlonHotel. Remind guests only to use the venue’s Wi-Fi or ones designated by you.
- Remind attendees never to purchase products, enter credit card information, or do any online banking on a public or hotspot Wi-Fi system.
- Ask them to keep email use to a minimum. Never open attachments or click on hyperlinks, even if they think the email is legitimate. Before opening, send a separate email to the sender asking if they recently sent you a communiqué.
- Ask guests to report all suspicious emails.
- Meet with the IT manager to see if you can have dedicated bandwidth.
Yes, this may cost you more money, but you won’t be sharing your internet with others outside of your company or meeting, thus reducing your risk for hacking.
Cybersecurity is Everyone’s Business
Research by ISC estimates there are roughly three million unfilled cybersecurity positions today. 3 million! That means every staff member from the CEO to the intern needs to be vigilant about their online practices.
Rentacomputer is Committed to Cybersecurity
Our equipment has the latest hardware, firmware, and operating system options to keep you protected!
We rent every type of technology! If you don’t see it on our website, call/text/email, or live chat with one of our agents to find out how we can help you with short-term rental products. Request a quote today!
Rentacomputer.com with Tech Travel Agent Mark
Are you thinking about renting some of our technology? Tech Travel Agent Mark Gillaugh specializes in iPhone rentals, smartphone rentals, hotspot rentals, tablet rentals and much more. Mark will handle any questions you have about cybersecurity and technology rentals. Contact Mark today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 249 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form.
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