As the summer season is underway, people are increasingly taking holidays. Whether holidaymakers have chosen the beach, the countryside, the mountains, or an urban setting, one thing is certain: no one is immune to having their devices stolen or hacked while away from home. Cybersecurity experts at NordVPN provide travelers with seven tips for a cyber-secure holiday.
Back up your data
“My whole life is on my phone” — if this phrase sounds like something you would say, remember to make sure you have your phone’s contents backed up before you leave. After all, no one is safe from losing their phone or having it stolen. This also applies to the SD cards of your cameras.
Safe payment methods
Instead of your main bank card, use a separate prepaid debit card abroad. This card can be topped up with any amount you want. That way, if your card details are stolen, you won’t lose all the money you store there.
Take a portable charger with you
Don’t go out without your portable charger or a charging cable. Why not? Simply because charging stations can be a playground for cybercriminals. A USB/lightning cable can be modified by a malicious person, like in this demo made by a hacker in 2019.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
Using mobile data while traveling is always a good idea because it is encrypted. However, if you have no choice and need to use public Wi-Fi, don’t forget to use a VPN. This tool will protect you from cybercriminals, who can retrieve your personal data through a public network. They later sell the stolen data on the dark web.
Do not post your photos in real-time
Posting a picture of your plane tickets can make your social media followers jealous. But more than that, doing so puts you at risk. It’s a perfect way for cybercriminals to find out your personal data and use it later for various malicious purposes. It’s also worth remembering that posting your holiday photos while you’re still away can be dangerous and can lead to robbery in your home. Whether your account is followed by hundreds of thousands of people or just a few, stay vigilant in all circumstances.
Keep your documents secure
Many people make a photo or a copy of their ID or passport in case they lose their documents. But this is not the most secure way to deal with your documentation. Unencrypted ID or passport scans and photos that you store on your phone can get leaked. Then you run the risk of your identity documents ending up on the dark web. A recent study by NordVPN showed that the American ID card had an average price of $76.45 on the dark web. The average price for an American passport was worth $20.77.
Use unique passwords
Create new passwords before you go abroad. If you have used the same password for all your accounts and one of them gets hacked, it puts the others at risk. Don’t hesitate to use a password manager such as NordPass. It will help you create sophisticated passwords to make life difficult for hackers.
“No one is safe from hackers, who are becoming increasingly creative in stealing and selling your data. It is worth remembering that a data leak can also happen to the service providers you use (hotels or transportation companies often get hacked). So don’t hesitate to ask how they store your data or what kind of encryption and other cybersecurity tools they use before giving your data to these companies,” Daniel Markuson, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN, recommends.