Safe - And Smart - Travel This Holiday Weekend
Millions of Americans will hit the road this Independence Day weekend for a taste of summer sun. Tourists and travelers alike will be more likely to connect to unsecured outside networks and services such as in-flight Wi-Fi or airport networks, making them an easy target for cyber criminals on the prowl. If you plan to travel this 4th of July weekend, you should consider these tips to keep yourself digitally safe on the road. Infected Point of Sale Systems Restaurants, hotels, and casinos have terrible track records when it comes to Point of Sale (POS) system security. According to Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, 91% of security incidents at these venues were attributed to POS system security breaches. These can be easily infected with malware, which would allow cyber criminals access to your credit card data, or other personal information. While traveling, you should always double check your bank activity to monitor for fraud.
“Free Wi-Fi” Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network is always a risky move. If you connect to an unsecured network, you could fall right into the hands of a cybercriminal, giving him or her the opportunity to infect your device with malware, or to access your personal information and use it against you. While traveling, you should use a VPN (virtual private network) to surf the web, especially if you enter personal and / or sensitive information. You should always be sure to log out of all online accounts and clear your history and any stored cookies.
Hotel and Car Lock Bypasses Believe it or not, thieves have figured how to hack car fobs and electronic hotel room keys. Thieves could break into your room or car and not only steal these valuables, but they could also install spyware on your electronic devices to exploit you later. Be mindful of the valuables you leave in your hotel room or car, especially your electronics.
Over-Sharing Be careful not to post pictures with your exact location while away from home. Broadcasting your physical location would not only invite burglars to your home while you are away, but it would also make you vulnerable to online scams in your location. While you’re traveling, disable the GPS setting on your phone and be mindful about oversharing.