As 2019 draws to a close and expatriates pack their bags and book their tickets to return to their home countries for the winter holiday season, nothing could possibly go wrong—except for a potential cybersecurity attack! Here are some tips on how to stay protected while you are away on holiday:
Avoid travel booking scams
Quite a few people get scammed while booking travel plans online. Unfortunately, there are many fraudulent websites that lure customers in by using fake domain names similar to those of well-known travel-booking agencies. To keep yourself protected, do your research on different travel booking websites and make sure you are using real and trustworthy websites. A quick check to see if there is a “lock” icon in front of the URL and the website domain doesn’t have any unusual letters is a great place to start.
Protect your log-in credentials
Whether checking into a flight, confirming reservations for hotels, or making new reservations with websites you have accounts with, your information can be vulnerable. Sophisticated “forgeries” of popular booking sites are far too common and fool people into surrendering their usernames and passwords, which attackers will exploit. A simple technique to avoid falling victim is to use a username and password you know is wrong. If the site accepts it, pretending to log you in, you will know that it is a fake site, and your credentials are still protected.
Be cautious of using public Wi-Fi networks
Many airports and local cafes offer free and public Wi-Fi networks for users. These are often tempting to use, especially as a traveller who wants to stay connected online and get some work done. However, these networks are not secure—even if they are paid. Paying to use restricted networks does not necessarily make them safe. Infiltrators have complete and easy access to these open networks, and they are ready to attack at any given moment. For example, be aware of evil twins: attackers can establish rogue Wi-Fi networks with names such as “Free Wi-Fi.” Be sure to confirm the name of the hotspot before connecting. To stay protected, use a VPN or a private mobile hotspot when browsing the web on vacation to keep your data secure.
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