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By Citizen Reporter


How to stay cyber security savvy when you travel

From being careless about online bookings to disregarding cyber security best practices, people let their guard down when they travel.

Now that global travel is well on its way to resuming to some sense of normalcy, people are keener than ever to get back out there. A focus on the ability to travel again might distract from focusing on other areas like cyber security. However, travellers have been cautioned to think twice before posting that selfie with their passport and boarding pass within all the excitement.

Travelling poses a significant cyber risk to individuals, more than most people even think. 

From being careless about online bookings to disregarding cyber security best practices, travellers often have their guard down when they travel, leaving security concerns on the back burner – taking your vacations from blissful to stressful with the click of a button.

As a result, cyber security expert and GoldPhish CEO, Dan Thornton, shared best practices on how travellers can take to protect themselves from becoming targets of cybercrime.

Be smart about bookings

Planning your dream getaway can be expensive and with the internet filled with tempting deals and discounts, it can be easy to let your guard down. 

New Turkey visa requirements for South Africans
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“Fraudsters certainly know that you are tempted by the hotel, flight, and car rental discounts, and they will often pose as travel agents and create seemingly legitimate-looking third-party websites,” said Thornton.

Here are his tips for remaining cyber security savvy, while finding the perfect getaway:

  1. Avoid acting on travel discounts received via unsolicited emails.
  2. Double-check that you are on a legitimate website before handing over money.
  3. Beware of spelling, formatting, and other basic mistakes that could indicate a website is not legitimate business. 
  4. A site’s security level can be legitimised by looking for an ‘https’, but this is not always the case.
  5. Opt for credit card payments when booking online as they offer a layer of protection that debit cards and bank transfers do not.
  6. If a flight or hotel offer seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

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On the move

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Our reliance on technology has become so fundamental in our everyday lives, whether we are scrolling through social media at an Airbnb or attending to emails in an airport, but there are dangers associated with public hotspots.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind to protect your devices and data from cyber security attacks while on the move.

  1. Open-access Wi-Fi networks are not secure, limit the use of public Wi-Fi. Make use of your personal hotspot unless you are using a VPN.
  2. Turn off location tracking and cut back on social networking check-ins.
  3. Minimise the use of data storage devices. When not in use, disconnect the storage device and store it in a safe location. Never pick up and use a found storage device. 
  4. Always know where your devices are, and keep your device locked with a password or pin lock when not in use – longer, more complex passwords are better.
  5. Shield logins and any confidential content on your devices from prying eyes. Use a laptop privacy screen to discourage shoulder surfing.
  6. Avoid video chats and private conversations while in public, especially business conversations.

Travelling and seeing the world is exciting. However, we need to stay vigilant and be cyber-savvy at all times.

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Compiled by Kaunda Selisho

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