Cybercriminals Don’t Take a vacation: Tips for Online Safe Vacations

Cybercriminals Don't Take a vacation: Tips for Online Safe Vacations

Summer, sun, good mood: for many, the long-awaited vacation is within reach. Even during the holidays, the digital everyday companions such as smartphone, tablet or notebook end up in the luggage of the travelers. This, in turn, attracts online criminals, […]

Summer, sun, good mood: for many, the long-awaited vacation is within reach. Even during the holidays, the digital everyday companions such as smartphone, tablet or notebook end up in the luggage of the travelers. This, in turn, attracts online criminals who are after their data and money. To ensure that the holiday fun remains undisturbed, the security experts from the European security manufacturer ESET give helpful tips. So holidaymakers do not experience any nasty surprises online before, during and after the trip.

Tourists are enormously on guard against pickpockets on vacation. But when it comes to your digital security, you exercise less caution. Credit card fraud, data theft and identity theft lurk at every corner. Whether at the airport, at the hotel, on the campsite or in an Internet café – cybercriminals use every opportunity to steal sensitive information from travelers.

“Public Wi-Fi hotspots are very popular on holiday, but also among criminals. They manipulate WLAN accesses in order to access login and bank data. Holiday guests should therefore play it safe and never enter confidential data such as credit card information there and make online banking transactions or the like,“ explains Thomas Uhlemann, IT Security Specialist at ESET. “But there are other scams that are supposed to lure holidaymakers into the trap, who start even before the trip.“

ESET Tips for an Online Safe Holiday

Before the holiday:

Beware of nasty rip-offs on online travel portals:
Alleged holiday bargains are increasingly attracting recreation seekers to fake web travel portals on which they enter their credit card information unsuspectingly. Instead of the booked holiday paradise, you will find an empty holiday fund on your account.

Secure your data:
Install security software or update it to the latest version to protect yourself from phishing, Trojans and other malware. Make backups of your data. If the digital device is lost on vacation, you still have the data at hand. Also use an anti-theft solution to find your stolen or misplaced device again. Encrypt the data on the notebook for security.

Post less on social networks:
Both before the holiday and in the middle of it, you should restrain your joy on the holiday. Real and virtual thieves are just waiting on Facebook and Co. to know who is going on vacation and when. If there are already posts, then only in private groups to which strangers do not have access.

Have the blocking numbers of your credit card at hand:
This allows you to immediately render the credit or debit card unusable in the event of a loss.

Set up a “Holiday Email account”:
So you can send pictures and messages without worry. Because even after a hack, no other personal data can be found on it.


Log out of the Internet café and delete the data left behind:
After using computers in a café, remove the temporary files of the browser, the browser history and the cookies. Log out of websites where you have logged in as a registered user. Otherwise, the next Internet surfer may still be able to access your account.

Use Wi-Fi hotspots only with VPN connection:
Just check the status of the travel fund for a moment or pay an invoice quickly. Relying on open Wi-Fi access on holiday is not a good idea. Because Wi-Fi hotspots are often manipulated by cybercriminals to get data and money. Users should therefore additionally secure the connection with a trustworthy VPN solution or activate their data roaming and surf as usual via the mobile operator. You should only do online shopping tours or financial transactions better after the holiday.

Be careful with contactless payments:
Credit and debit cards belong in a protective cover or a special wallet with integrated RFID and NFC blocker. Thieves have special devices that allow you to read out the data on them. In addition, you should prefer to use far more secure payment methods such as Apple and Google Pay.

Disable Radio networks:
If you are not in use, it is better to turn off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functions. As a result, they offer criminals less attack surfaces.

Never let your devices out of your sight:
It only takes a few minutes to spy on access data. And don’t forget: the summer sun damages tablets and smartphones. High temperatures are “poison” for the electronics and the display.

Stay away from software updates and certificates:
If you have to update the software or download certificates for a WLAN connection, you better cancel the whole thing. It is not uncommon for malware to hide behind it.

After the return:

Make a malware scan:
Before you connect your devices used on vacation to the home network, you should check them for malware with a security software or at least an online virus scanner.

Change your passwords on the services you use:
After the holidays is a welcome opportunity to change passwords on social media, email services, etc. Safe is safe!

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