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Travel and vacation: How to protect yourself from cyber attacks

Travel has become easier over the years thanks to advances in technology. From booking hotels and tourist trips, communicating with friends, the technology plays an important role in our holiday travel.

While these technological advances make our lives easier, they can also expose us to cyberbullying. Laptops, smartphones and tablets are easy targets for cyber attacks. Users are busy and often do not have safety best practices in mind. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are always looking for ways to exploit people and do so much more easily during the relaxation that inevitably accompanies our vacation.

Check out these top eleven prevention tips to ensure data before you travel during this holiday season:

1. Change all frequently used passwords.

Make sure your personal information is secure by changing all frequently used passwords, such as PINs and online transaction codes. Avoid using easy phrases, personal information such as your birthday or number sequences, including the very common "123456". In the National Security Center's global password analysis, 23,2 million accounts using this code.

The National Institute of Technology Standards (NIST) proposes a new simplified approach to creating strong passwords that takes into account that we often forget our passwords especially when they tend to become complicated. Length has replaced the combination of length and complexity. For example, let's use the phrase "I bought my dog ​​in Greece when I was 23!". Your password using this phrase could be a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols such as "IB0TM1D0G1NGR @ 23!" This is an easy-to-remember phrase, but difficult to guess as a password.

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2. Be careful with travel sites.

According to the Federal Trade Commission's website, cyber-attacks related to our holidays can occur even before travel begins. While vacation planning websites can be useful, you need to make sure they are trustworthy. Many scams appear as genuine websites, pretending to offer luxury vacations, tuning for upcoming trips, discounts and rental sales just to steal your personal information.

Use your judgment for these cases. If an agreement looks or sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't. Research the company that offers the deal extensively before proceeding. Another best practice is to use a credit card for your travel transactions instead of your debit card. Credit card companies often have liability protection against fraud in case you fall victim to cyber fraud.

3. Do not use public charging stations.

While public charging stations may seem like a great addition to most airports, they can also be a convenient way for intruders to hack into your device.

The hackers can modify these links USB to install malware on your mobile or download data without knowing it. It is much safer to bring your regular charger and plug it in or, alternatively, have one with you. power bank to charge your phone when your battery is low.

4. Beware of suspicious looks around you.

You should take precautions when entering personal information into devices or filling out public forms. Turn it over screen your computer or mobile phone so that other people can not see what you are typing.

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5. Avoid public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Although a public Wi-Fi can be useful, it is important to remember that these networks are not secure, allowing hackers to easily track your activity. Airport Wi-Fi networks are particularly risky, as they are high-traffic areas where people are often in a hurry and not concentrated.

If you must make an online transaction during a trip that includes sensitive information, use a VPN or its data mobile your. If possible, avoid banking or transactions until you have access to a private network.

6. Keep your devices close to you.

Vacation travel can be chaotic, making it easy to leave your personal belongings out of sight. This is a way to steal your personal data as well. Always monitor your devices and protect them in public places.

7. Avoid social media and "out of office" messages before your trip.

Avoid announcing the dates and location of your vacation at social media. This is essentially an open call for all types of criminals to invade your home and motivate cyber criminals to carry out attacks. For example, intruders may use details from your social media posts to call relatives and friends and claim that you urgently need money as it has been stolen while traveling or to pay a fine.

It is also important to avoid sharing your location when traveling, as it can pose a security threat to both your hotel room and your home.

8. Back up files before your travels.

Before leaving for any trip, you should back up all your electronic files as a precaution. If you are attacked by a cyber attacker or your devices are stolen, you will still have access to important archives you.

9. Make sure your software is up to date.

Software updates are important because they often include critical fixes in security holes. According to McAfee, many of the most harmful malware attacks take advantage of vulnerabilities software in common applications, such as operating systems and browsers.

10. Disable Bluetooth connectivity.

Minimizing use Bluetooth on your travels reduces your exposure to vulnerabilities. Without strong cryptographic authentication, malicious third parties can use Bluetooth to connect to a device they should not have access to or cheat targets to believe that their device is trustworthy.

11. If you are traveling abroad, find out your rights and local laws.

If border guards request access to your laptop's digital content, you may have no choice but to agree to it. Plan ahead and find out your rights in the country you are visiting and the rights that country may have over your data, as your local privacy rights and federally protected rights as a citizen of your country disappear once you reach borders.

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