Summer Travel Tips for Cybersecurity Safety

Before you head out for your destination, remember just because you're not working, doesn't mean you don't have to ...


happy young couple relax and take fresh drink at summer vacation

Before you head out for your destination, remember just because you're not working, doesn't mean you don't have to worry about cybersecurity safety. There are plenty of threats out there, here are 4 tips to help you and your travel companions stay safe from cyber-threats. 


1. Avoid Public Chargers

Using public USB ports is not only risky but also opens you up to potential cyber threats that could compromise your personal information. In this article, you should avoid using them at all costs. Cybercriminals can inject various types of malware, including keyloggers, onto the USB port. Once your device is plugged in, the malware can easily spread, allowing malicious hackers to gain access to your sensitive data.  Malware has been found at airport kiosks, public charging stations, and even in the USB ports of hotel lamps! If you need to use a public charger, consider powering down your device before connecting. Instead, it's best to invest in a portable power bank to keep your devices charged on-the-go at all times. You should also always carry an extra charging cable with power block and lug in directly to an outlet.

2. Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Connecting to free or open Wi-Fi networks while on vacation can leave your personal information vulnerable to hackers. These networks lack encryption, making it easier for cybercriminals to intercept and manipulate your data. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are convenient, but they come with many hidden security risks that can put your personal information at risk. Cyber criminals can use public Wi-Fi to monitor your online activity and steal sensitive data such as your passwords, banking information, or credit card numbers. They can even launch "man-in-the-middle" attacks, in which they intercept and modify the data sent between you and the website you're visiting. If you have no choice but to use public Wi-Fi networks, you can still take precautions to protect yourself online. One of the simplest things you can do is to avoid accessing sensitive websites or online accounts that require personal data. If you have to use these sites, make sure to use a secure connection (HTTPS) and avoid saving sensitive information on your device. You can also use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your internet traffic and secure your online activity. You can also consider using your smart phone as a mobile hotspot as an alterative or invest in a mobile hotspot device if you travel a lot.

3. Log Off of Streaming Services

It's becoming more common that hotels and home shares such as Airbnb and VRBO often have smart TVs allowing you to login to your own accounts to stream from your accounts while traveling. Logging into your Netflix account in that Airbnb might not be the best idea. It is very easy to forget to log out before leaving your room or rental leaving your account open and up for grabs. If you choose to use your login credentials on a device you don't own, make sure you logout and consider deleting anything you’ve accessed before checking out. Set a reminder on your phone to logout an hour or two before you leave so you don't accidentally forget.

4. Device Theft 

Device theft can happen in seconds and tourist hotspots are magnets for thieves.  Beaches, malls, markets, and public transportation are all common hotspots for theft. If you're carrying a smartphone or a tablet, it's essential to be vigilant and never leave your device unattended. Keep your device out of sight when possible, and avoid displaying it in public. Don’t leave your phone by the pool as you run to get a drink or towel, take it with you or leave it in the hotel safe. Same should be said for your laptop or tablets. Many travelers assume that their hotel rooms are a safe place to leave their devices. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Housekeeping staff, maintenance crews, and other hotel employees may have access to your room, and some of them may not have your best interests in mind. Always use the room safe to store your valuables, and avoid leaving your device charging unattended.

Vacation should be a time for relaxation and enjoyment, not stress and loss. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can minimize your risks of becoming a cyber-crime victim and enjoy your vacation to the fullest. Remember to stay vigilant, keep your device out of sight, use a VPN on public Wi-Fi networks, and always have a backup plan ready. Stay safe, and have a great trip!


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