7 Security Guidelines to Stay Cyber Safe Throughout Your Vacation

On December 29, 2021

Let’s face it! The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on our physical as well as mental well-being! Now it’s time for a well deserved break. In our haste and excitement to prepare for our vacation, let’s not forget some key points about cyber security before we embark on our journey.

Understandably our whole travel itinerary, flight and hotel bookings, reservations etc. are done online. This gives exposure to a number of unforeseen cyber mishaps that can happen along the way.

Read on to stay a step ahead of the cyber attackers who are on the prowl to attack vulnerable and unsuspecting victims.

1. Limit sharing on social media

This is the first and foremost point to remember as most of us like to share our updates on social media platforms. The hackers too become privy to this information and we become easy targets. Also limit the amount of details that you would share. Explicit details giving out date, destination, duration etc. can be avoided.

*Simple tip - If you feel the need to share, ensure certain security options are in place. For instance on Facebook you can give access/permission to only friends and not to the public or even friends of friends.

2. Be stringent while using the GPS

While on vacation, it is natural to use the GPS to explore new places. But remember to use it as sparingly as possible. Switch on the geolocation feature only when prompted and remember to switch off once you have reached your destination. The mobile GPS should not be left on indefinitely. This will help save battery as well.

*Simple tip - Turn on and off the GPS as and when required.

3. Beware of unsecured USB ports

The hospitality industry in order to ensure a hassle free travelling experience has installed many USB ports for the ease of travellers. The USB devices, although handy for charging purposes, can also prove costly if using a public one. It becomes easy to transfer malware into your device under the guise of charging.

*Simple tip - Carry your charger at all times and plug into a regular wall socket.

4. Beware of Free WiFi services

Majority of the travellers have a tendency to connect to the free WiFi services rather than use their mobile data plans, which can result in serious data theft. A hacker using a simple Man-in-the-middle attack could gain access to your confidential details. In another scenario, if a hacker uses the same WiFi as yours, then he is in a position to download malicious ransomware into your device.

*Simple tip - Use a VPN to secure your network while using public WIFi. Also make sure to use HTTPS encrypted websites only.

5. Use secure and official websites

While planning out a trip it is obvious you are going to receive confirmation mailers, alerts etc. These could be either the airline confirming a booking or alerting to a delay or a hotel confirming a reservation. Either way the attackers too are aware of this and may send out phishing emails to unsuspecting users to try and weed out critical information. Credit card accounts or other banking information are usually targeted, as in the last minute flurry of activities leading to the trip, it is easy to miss out checking the authenticity of the emails.

*Simple tip - Airlines usually have their own apps. Use them extensively. On receiving an email instead of clicking on it right away, double check by clicking on the official website and reconfirming before giving out the details.

6. Safeguard your documents

We store all necessary travel documents on our mobiles and other devices for the sake of convenience. These may include your tickets, boarding passes, visas, other important travel related documents etc. A theft of your mobile or tablet can lead to disastrous consequences, especially if you don’t have the hard copies of it handy with you.

*Simple tip - Use a biometric sensor for locking your phone or at least a 6 digit passcode. Ensure you store e-copies of all important documents on the cloud or the google drive. And remember to make multiple hard copies and keep them securely in different locations.

7. Follow basic security protocols

Some simple but effective principles can go a long way in making your travel safe and pleasurable.

  • Encrypt your files and keep a back up in the cloud
  • Ensure your anti-virus and anti-malware applications are in place and updated
  • Use complex and different passwords for all your banking and other web accounts
  • Turn on your firewall
  • Use public WiFi only for harmless browsing or viewing