Before you pull the plug on your device, and head off on summer holidays, work through this checklist to ensure you, your clients and systems are ready for a break!

Individual Responsibilities:

Out of Office
Set up your out of office email. Clearly state your holiday period and who can be contacted for help should you be unavailable.

Voicemail
Change your desk phone voicemail to advise when you’re away or forward to a number that will be manned.

Mobile Devices
Ensure you have a recent back-up and your phone and tablet is secured with a pin. Consider changing your mobile voicemail to a temporary greeting. State when you are on leave and who else they can contact if you are likely to be away from your phone or not checking it often.

Email Back
Test your email to ensure it is working on your mobile phone.

Webmail
Check you have your Webmail login details and know how to login should you need to.

Find my iPhone
Activate Find my iPhone or the equivalent Android app. When you switch off from technology sometimes you can forget where you left it!

Laptop Battery
Should you need to work while you are away and have limited power access, test your laptop battery to check it holds its charge and ensure you pack your power adapter.

Test Tethering
Check whether you can tether your mobile phone to your laptop (Bluetooth, Hotspot or Physical cord) should you need to work while away.

Remote Access
Check your VPN works, and you know how to access all the company information you might need while away.

Chargers for all Devices
Make sure you have all the appropriate chargers for your mobile devices if you need to work while you are away.

Cyber Security Precautions:

Hackers Capitalise on Chaos
Hackers know that the holidays are a swirl of deadlines, office parties and online orders. A person who might not fall for a phishing email any other time of year might do so now. An email purporting to be from an online retailer asking for credit card number re-entered might be acted upon on a busy December morning, remain vigilant.

Holiday-Themed Emails
Is the email from accounting about the end-of-the-year holiday bonus bogus? Any email, phone call, or text has a holiday tie-in, that should put everyone on high alert.

Beware of Phone Calls
Under no circumstances, at any of time of the year, should you give passwords or other network login credentials to unauthorised callers. When in doubt, call the person back.

Traveling
If travelling with a company laptop, you must resist the temptation to log in to the coffee shop’s free WiFi, leave laptops lying around, and minimise location sharing. These are commonly known tips, but during the craziness of holidays, corner-cutting can be appealing and disastrous.

Patching
Cybercriminals know the weak spots, and they know that if you’re buried under holiday deadlines, they’ll probe for weaknesses. We will still be deploying patches over the holiday period so if your device asks for a reboot to finish applying patches please make sure this is done straight away to ensure your protected.

Personal Emails
Employees checking their personal email while on their company PC can be problematic year-round, but during the holidays it can be a bigger problem. That urgent email from “Amazon” asking to check a package status can be tempting as Christmas creeps closer.

The boss won’t tell you to buy gift cards
A common holiday ruse is a carefully crafted email from “the boss” directing an employee to go and buy gift cards as holiday bonuses. “The boss”, is also too busy to distribute and wants to make these “virtual gift cards.” They ask for the numbers and codes and say to dispose of the cards. The problem is the email wasn’t from the boss.

We hope you found these tips useful and have a joyful Christmas shared with loved ones. Here’s to a both prosperous and secure 2020.