After working for almost a year in your cubicle, the first thing that comes to your mind is taking a break. Going on a vacation is a great way to relax and spend time with your loved ones.
In this digital age where you do not have to go looking for a travel agent in your neighbourhood, it very simple to find an ideal vacation package online.
Although things seem to be very simple these days, the risk associated with them have also increased two fold. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the amount consumers have lost in online travel fraud is about $4 billion, the number speaks for itself.
Have you ever given it a thought that your hard earned money can be stolen by the very 1s and 0s that’s our lifeline today? Well, yes. There are various ways that a hacker can turn the most memorable time you are having into a nightmare. As a travel enthusiast, I follow some guidelines to protect my online or digital life which I will be discussing that will help you be safe in the digital world.
Say no to Bluetooth in public places:
Bluetooth is commonly used to transfer files or connect to audio devices but did you know that hackers can pick up this signal to connect to your phone. I understand that you cannot always switch off the Bluetooth as you might be using it with an audio device or any hands-free device, in this case, the best thing to do is hide your Bluetooth i.e make it private.
Make sure automatic phone lock is enabled:
This is something that most of us have enabled on our smartphone i.e the phone gets locked after a specific amount of time like 5 or 15 seconds. Nowadays, Android phones have the option to set a password for the booting stage, so Android won’t start unless you enter the password. This adds an extra layer of security.
But still, there are people who for the ease of accessing apps on the phone, do not set a password. A phone without a password which has all your messages, contacts, email and most probably credit card details, if fallen into the wrong hands can be devastating
Well, we can survive a day without food but not Wifi. We are so used to it that Wifi service has been started at Airport, Bus Terminal, Railway station to name a few and hence called public Wifi.
Tempting it may sound, these are actually very dangerous. Hackers can set up fake access point called honeypot and once you connect to them, the hacker will gain unauthorized access to your device.
Always make sure you are connecting to trusted or password protected Wifi networks only.
Today no one goes to the bank to withdraw or transfer funds, it’s all done with the help of internet banking and mobile banking. For this, our phone number plays an important role, from receiving OTP for a transaction to helping us with SMS verification while using Mobile Banking. This makes our SIM card more precious than gold.
Whenever I travel abroad, I make sure to leave my SIM card home or keep it secure and purchase a local SIM in the country I am travelling to. The best thing to do is purchase a burner phone.
There are certain apps available that act as an alarm system. You will be able to track your phone, start an alarm using the web version of the app too. In case your phone is misplaced, you will be able to ascertain the accurate location, send SOS messages and much more. Such apps really come handy when you are travelling.
Refrain from overuse of Social Media
I understand how excited everybody gets when it is time to tell the world through Facebook or Instagram that they are travelling, sharing locations, etc. Harmless it may seem, actually can pose a huge risk as it is an open invitation for burglary.
So always make it a point not to share your live location and the post is always private. Even if you want to make a certain post public, you can always do after you return from your vacation.
Although technology has made our lives easy, the same technology has also helped fraudsters to come up with new techniques to cheat people. We are seeing a rising trend in cyber or banking fraud, but with few precautions you will always be one step ahead of them.
So pack your bags and get ready for a safe vacation!!