As cybercrime continues to go through the roof, it’s no longer enough to simply password protect your documents in case your mobile device is stolen. Today’s hi-tech criminals are much harder to detect and no longer want your devices – your personal information is far more valuable to them.
Business travellers are prime targets for the cyber criminal, because they've usually returned back to their country of origin by the time they discover their details have been taken. This makes it more difficult to trace those responsible.
Cyber criminals target locations offering Wi-Fi such as hotel lobbies, airports, convention centres, restaurants and coffee shops, hence the reason so many travellers are falling victim to these crimes. Travellers are fooled into installing spyware technology in the form of seemingly legitimate updates onto their computers and mobile devices. These data attacks will almost certainly present a new wave of uncertainty for business travellers over the coming years.
Here are 5 tips to help protect your online security when you travel:
1. Hotel business centre computers – completely avoid using these if possible. They can be accessed by anyone staying at the hotel and sadly deleting your browsing history before you log off isn’t enough to stop clever cyber-criminals from retracing your steps.
2. If you know you are going to be accessing work related, or personal sites (such as online banking, or shopping sites that will require account details) travel with a prepaid (password protected) dongle to plug into your device, eliminating the need to use public Wi-Fi.
3. Do not sit directly underneath security cameras - you never know who might be watching! Security cameras can zoom right in and deliver crystal clear clarity, you might find someone sitting out of sight can see your screen better than you can!
4. When using Wi-Fi in public places avoid browsing on sites that require you to log in with a password – Make sure the Bluetooth option on your device is turned off. When the Bluetooth option is on, your device is visible to others and becomes an easier target. Need to make a bank transfer, or credit card payment? Wait until you are on a secured server before logging in.
5. Close down any applications you are not using. Hackers have been created ‘fishing’ software that recognizes pages you have left open. When you go back the page will have timed out, do not refresh the page. Refreshing the page will re-open what looks like the same page, telling you your session has expired. You’ll be required to log back in and by doing so you will disclose your passwords to clever cyber criminals, who will then use the information to commit all kinds of cyber fraud. Avoid obvious passwords, such as the names of your children or pets, hackers target Facebook profiles and can easily obtain this information. Update your passwords frequently and check the security settings on your social media profiles are high.
Remember cyber criminals aren’t just operating overseas! Even at home you should change your internet passwords on a regular basis.
Stay safe and travel smart!