For better or for worse, 92% of brides-to-be (and some grooms, too!) are using their phones or tablets to check off wedding "to-do" lists, research vendors, share announcements, manage registries and honeymoon travel, and create personal websites. That's a great deal of personal information out in the public space! With so much information so easily accessible, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) proposes several tried-and-true tips to help ensure that this special time in your life is safe and secure.
Everlasting Digital Etiquette
- Lock Down Your Login: Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect all of the personal details stored on your smartphone while planning your wedding. Just think about it: family and friends’ contacts, your credit card information, and various social media platforms are all on your phone. Fortify accounts and use strong authentication tools – like biometrics, security keys, or a unique one-time code ‒ through an app on your mobile device.
- Passwords to Have and to Hold: A strong password is a phrase or sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I LOVE wedding cake!”). Use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters and spaces, too. Also, set up unique passwords for all of the accounts you use for wedding planning ‒ such as email, social media, and your gift registry ‒ to help thwart cybercriminals.
- Back It Up: Capture and save the precious memories from your pre-nuptial party photos, the ceremony, reception, and honeymoon to a secure cloud site or an external hard drive where they can be stored safely.
- Update your Online Photo Album: Be mindful of your guests’ privacy while posting pictures and videos of the big day. Delete less flattering photos: in addition to not showing your best friend’s best side, they take up space.
Happiness is a Cyber Safe Honeymoon
- Wait Until You Get Back: Posting pictures while you enjoy your honeymoon could alert criminals that you are away from home. Maintain your digital bliss and wait until you return home to post your photos.
- Actively Manage Location Services: Whether your honeymoon takes you to an exotic beach resort or on an action-packed adventure, location tools come in handy while planning your getaway or navigating a new place. Keep in mind that they can also expose your location through photos. Turn off location services when not in use.
- Be Savvy About WiFi Hotspots: Do not transmit personal info or make purchases on unsecured networks. Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your phone’s cellular connection as a personal hotspot to surf more securely.
- Protect Your $$$: When celebrating your newlywed status, you may be eager to spend some of your wedding gift cash. Be sure to shop or bank only on secure sites. Web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://” mean the site takes extra security measures. However, an “http://” address is not secure.