Summer vacation plans usually include bathing suits, a cooler, beach chairs and sunscreen. What they don’t include is a stolen identity.
As people are getting ready for their summer travel, they often don’t think about the security risks that can happen while away from home. Recent events like the Sochi Olympics and the World Cup have shown the vulnerabilities of travelers’ private information and accounts. Many individuals found their bank accounts drained or their social media accounts hacked.
Excited about arriving to a holiday destination, many visitors immediately turn on their cell phone, laptop or tablet to post on social media or check personal accounts. It is possible that the integrity of these devices and the information they contain can be quickly compromised. Anyone who connects a device to a Wi-Fi access point without taking necessary safety precautions are inviting hackers on their vacation with them. Travelers should realize, especially in foreign countries, that hacks are inevitable, but there are ways to protect against a ruined vacation.
SafeNet, Inc., a global leader in data protection, gives these five tips to reduce the risk of piracy while traveling:
- Don’t share your travel plans on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. You don’t want to announce that you will be out of town and come back from your trip to find that burglars have helped themselves to your personal property. If you want to share updates, make sure you do so only with your friends. It’s probably better to brag about the trip after you get back home.
- Disable access to Wi-Fi networks. You may think your laptop is connecting to the hotel network when in fact it is connecting to a fake network that has been set up to fool unsuspecting users. Use your mobile phone or device’s 4G wireless connecting to check and send updates, or use the tethering capabilities to connect your laptop to the Internet.
- Disable your Bluetooth function, which can be used to get access to your mobile device.
- Do not provide any personal information such as email, social media accounts, passwords to unknown sources on vacation.
- Make sure you update your software, operating system and security tools with the latest versions to protect your laptop and devices from vulnerabilities.