Online Security and Safety Evangelist to McAfee Robert is an identity theft expert who is committed to ...
Traveling isn’t at all fun. Vacationing is fun, but getting there and dealing with taxis, rental cars, airplanes, hotels and all the unfamiliarity can be unpleasant. And in the midst of all this, criminals are on the lookout for people vacationing. You tend to be more relaxed and your “guard” is down. You also may be in a unfamiliar place.
To make sure your vacation isn’t spoiled by cybercriminals and to make sure you travel with more ease, here’s some things to be aware of.
From the moment you leave your home make sure your cab driver thinks you will be back that night and give the impression your home is alarmed, there is an attack dog there and your roommate Rocco will be home. You don’t want to let the taxi driver know your address and that no one is going to be home for a week.
We often leave stuff in cabs, such as mobile phones, tablets and flash drives. And usually, once it’s left, it’s lost for good. Create sticky labels with your contact information and stick them on the device. If the cabbie or the next person in the taxi is honest, you may get your devices back. You should also consider using a security product on your mobile devices that lets you remotely locate, lock and wipe them in case your mobile phone or tablet is permanently lost or stolen so no one can access all the personal data you have on the device.
Keep your devices with you or under the seat in front of you. You probably don’t want to check them in with your luggage and you should be wary when putting them in the overhead compartments. Make sure you check all the area behind you when you deplane and if you get up to use the restroom or walk around, take your device with you or make sure a traveling companion is watching it.
Hotel rooms are not secure. More than once I’ve entered a hotel room with somebody else’s stuff laid out on the dresser and on the bed. Sometimes the clerk assigns the same room to two people, or the keys work in multiple rooms. Never ever leave anything of value in your room, including in the hotel safe.
My wife traveled to Spain, got off the plane, and rented a car, and drove off the lot. At the first stop sign, a man knocked on her passenger window and pointed, saying, “Tire, tire.” She put the car in park and walked over to the passenger side. The tire was fine and the man was gone. When she got back in the car her purse had disappeared from the front seat. Her driver’s license, passport, cash, and credit cards were all gone. Don’t leave things unattended in the rental car and be sure to check everywhere before you return the car as mobile phones can easily slide under the seat or between the dashboards.
Wi-Fi connections are hotbeds for thieves, especially if they are unsecured, like most public hotspot or free Wi-Fi access locations are. When you’re a Wi-Fi connection in a hotel, café or wherever you are when traveling, make sure you don’t access financial sites or do online shopping. It’s easy for criminals to setup fake connections that appear legitimate but are traps to capture information from unknowing victims.
I hope these travel tips help keep your devices safe when you’re traveling so you can enjoy your vacation!
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)
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