Check Point Research (CPR) gives five cyber security tips for vacationers looking to travel in summer 2021.
Summer 2021 is expected to break records in travel activity. Cyber criminals like to take advantage of travelers. For this reason, Check Point Research (CPR) publishes the following cyber security tips for people planning a vacation at home and abroad in July, August and September.
Avoid Public Wifi Hot Spots
While free Wi-Fi access is tempting, it can also pose a serious security risk. It is not uncommon for criminals to wait in cafes or airports for travelers to go to a public Wi-Fi so they can take advantage of the unsuspecting. Avoid unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. Ask your hotel for the security protocol before connecting to the Internet. Be especially careful when using Internet cafes and free Wi-Fi hotspots. And if you need to use them, avoid accessing personal accounts or sensitive data while connected to these networks.
Beware of the curious
The person sitting next to you on the plane or while you wait to board your plane could have malicious intentions. Someone might be looking over your shoulder while you enter your credit card details or sign up on social media. It is smart to get a screen protector that will help to hide your laptop or mobile phone from prying eyes.
Check the travel booking pages
Cyber attacks can occur even before the start of the trip. Make sure the holiday booking website you are using is credible. Scammers like to impersonate authentic websites and pretend to offer luxury vacations or discounted travel to steal your personal information. If an offer looks or sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Find out more about the company making the offer before you set out. For travel transactions, use a credit card and not your debit card. Credit card companies often have fraud protection in case you become a victim of cybercrime; with a debit card, on the other hand, your money is likely to be gone.
Be suspicious of ATMs
Avoid withdrawing money from any machine. It is known that hackers, especially in tourist areas, install or manipulate credit card theft programs in ATMs. Use official ATMs, preferably those that are located in the building of the bank of your trust, and not those located in popular tourist places.
Don’t share your location via social media
Sharing your location with your friends on social media is fun, but dangerous from a security perspective, especially if you share it publicly. Avoid revealing your vacation dates and location on social media and in your away messages. Not only does this provide an open invitation for all types of criminals to break into your home, but it also provides clues for cybercriminals to trap you or your acquaintances.
Lothar Geuenich, Regional Director Central Europe at Check Point Software Technologies GmbH
Lothar Geuenich, Regional Director Central Europe at Check Point summarizes the most important basic rules: “The holiday travel activity this summer will reach a bit of normality again. I firmly expect that cyber criminals will take advantage of many travelers who finally want to go on vacation again after a long time. Everyone should think about cybersecurity in their travels over the next few months. There are some basic precautions to take to protect yourself and your fellow travelers, such as not spreading your location on social media or simply using every ATM. One should also avoid using public Wi-Fi spots as much as possible. Holiday guests should not be afraid to ask the providers of their accommodation what security measures they have taken for their Internet connection. In addition, a screen protector for the devices should be used when traveling, because you never know who is looking over your shoulder. Unfortunately, we live in the age of the global cyber pandemic, so vacationers should remain vigilant.“