Travelers keep making themselves vulnerable to hackers online without even knowing it. There are so many mistakes that keep getting repeated over and over and that hackers keep exploiting. You store so much important information on your devices: some even keep their credit card numbers written down in their notes (which you should avoid doing at all costs). Naturally, you need that information to always be safe.
Hacking your device and stealing your data isn’t as difficult as you may think, and cybercriminals keep learning new tactics to reach their goals. In this article, you’ll learn 4 of the most important safety tips to follow while you’re traveling.
- Be wary of public Wi-Fi
Once you connect to a network, all of the data coming to and from your device goes through that network. Back home, you probably use highly encrypted Wi-Fi and use your mobile data when you aren’t home, so you don’t need to worry much about Wi-Fi safety. However, if a network you connect to isn’t secure enough, a hacker can get in the middle of your connection, spy on everything you do online, and steal your data.
Don’t connect to just any network you stumble upon. The best thing to do would be to avoid public Wi-Fi altogether. However, if you need to connect to a public network, always use a virtual private network (VPN). When you connect to a VPN, you can hide all of your personal information from outsiders: your data becomes encrypted, and your IP address and location are hidden.
- Secure your accounts with strong passwords
Your passwords are the barrier between your data and the outside world, which is why you should set strong passwords for all of your accounts. While traveling, your device can be exposed to lots of different malware, and hackers might try to hack into your accounts by guessing your password.
If your password is long and complicated, it will be safe from such guessing techniques. Also, please make sure that your passwords are all different! Using the same phrase with different numbers doesn’t count as different. Make sure that they have no similarities because you wouldn’t want all of your data exposed if just one of your passwords gets hacked.
- Look out for scams
There are plenty of scammers both online and in the real world, and they love targeting tourists. When it comes to internet safety, you should look out for a type of scam called phishing. This is when hackers try to extract data from a user or get them to click on a link by sending out fraudulent messages. They might claim that they’re writing from one of your social media platforms and that they need you to reactivate your account, or they might claim that they’re government officials and ask for your social security number or any similar data.
Always think twice before responding to these messages or clicking on any links you receive. Keep in mind that they can come in many forms: email, pop-up, text message, phone call, etc.
- Think before you post
It’s one thing to send a picture of your location to a friend. It’s a whole other thing to post it to your social media stories for the entire world to see. Avoid posting pictures of your hotel or apartment while you’re still staying there, especially if you’re traveling alone. If you do, anybody who is in the area can easily find you if they want to.
Also, never post pictures of your flight tickets or other documents. With the information printed on your boarding pass, criminals might be able to access your sensitive data by doing some digging online. Sure, you assume that everyone who follows you and watches your stories are your friends who wish you no harm. However, the internet is filled with malicious actors just waiting for a random person to post something they can take advantage of, so be careful!
It would be nice to live in a world where you wouldn’t need to worry about your safety all of the time. The sad truth is that you’re never fully safe, not from pickpockets, not from scammers, and not from hackers. However, you deserve to have the safest and most amazing trip, and hackers have no right to take that away from you. These 4 simple tips might just be the difference between a great trip and a trip ruined by cybercriminals.