Why Travelling Can Be Dangerous For Your Devices

Cybercrime is on the rise, and it is becoming more common. 

Hackers tend to target victims who do not have proper cyber security measures in place. This is especially true when it comes to travelling.

With most of the world’s lockdown slowly being lifted and international travel and tourism returning, it is crucial to fully understand the risks your devices face when you are travelling. 

One of the most common places where cybercrime takes place is at unsecured WiFi hotspots. 

You must protect your devices when travelling, especially when using public WiFi hotspots at airports, hotels or restaurants. 

Cybercrime and Public WiFi Hotspots

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While travelling, we have many things on our minds. Trying to find safe WiFi often isn’t one of them. However, it should be a priority because cybercrime is most common at public WiFi. 

Hotspots are often found in hotels, airports and restaurants. 

While we’re abroad, we often try to find the closest and most convenient point to connect to the internet to catch up on messages and emails. 

However, these connections are not always the most secure way of accessing your accounts.

Public WiFi hotspots might be free, easy to access and convenient. 

However, these same features that make them so popular and easy to use, especially tourists, make them a prime hunting ground for cybercriminals.

Because the connection is unsecured, hackers can access it just as easily and use it to connect to other devices connected to the same access point. 

This means they will easily be able to snoop around through your device’s files, data and information.

Another tactic that cybercriminals often use is to relay the connection through their device. 

This means that they replicate the access point, and your device will connect to their device, which then relays the information to the router.

In simpler terms, this means that they will intercept everything that your device sends and receives via the internet. 

This gives them an easy way to steal your login credentials as well as vital personal information.

What Cybercriminals Can do With Stolen Information

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Once cybercriminals have gained access to your device, they will begin to target specific pieces of information that they can utilise to commit various crimes. 

The information they go after depends on the type of crime they want to commit.

The most common pieces of information that hackers will go after are login credentials and passwords. 

This will allow the criminals to gain access to your bank accounts, email accounts, and any other important accounts that you have.

Once cybercriminals have stolen your login credentials, they can begin to do damage. For example, if they gain access to your bank accounts, they can transfer money or approve fraudulent transactions.

Frequently hackers will go after your personal information. This can be anything from your name, phone number or social security number. 

They can use this information to commit fraud and identity theft. For example, they might open a utility account in your name. 

However, when the account is never paid, you will be the one that gets into trouble because the account is in your name.

Cybercriminals may also target your device with malicious software. 

Malicious software can be installed on your device, often in the background, so you might never even know when it is installed on your device.

There are several different forms of malware that cybercriminals can install on your devices. These can range from viruses to spyware and ransomware, and it all depends on the end goal that the cybercriminal has.

For example, ransomware can encrypt the files and information on your devices, preventing anyone from gaining access to them until a ransom fee is paid to the hacker. 

This can cause you many headaches and cost you much money.

‘Spyware is often used to monitor your screen remotely, meaning that the hacker will be able to see everything that happens on your device. 

In some cases, they can also control your devices remotely, allowing them to snoop around your files and data.

How to Keep Your Devices Safe

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You must ensure that your devices are kept safe while you travel, with cybercrime being much more common on public WiFi networks. 

Having proper cybersecurity measures in place will keep your devices safe.

The first and most crucial cybersecurity tool you need when travelling is VPN software. 

A VPN will encrypt your internet connection, so when you are using a public hotspot, cybercriminals won’t be able to detect or intercept your device’s communication with the server.

A VPN can also change the location of your IP address, which will be helpful when you are travelling abroad and need to bypass internet censorship or access websites in your home country. 

You can do this by simply connecting to one of the VPN’s global servers.

It is always recommended to use premium VPN software. 

It would be best to avoid free software because it will offer lower internet speeds, which may become frustrating. 

They also have a daily data limit imposed on them, and they have a limited amount of global servers available.

Another form of cyber security you need to use is antivirus software. 

An antivirus will constantly scan your device for any malicious software that has been installed on it. It can then also take the necessary steps to remove the malware from your device.

Finally, it would help if you used a third-party password manager to keep track of your login credentials. 

It would help if you always used solid and unique passwords for different accounts. This means they should not relate to your personal information, and each account should have a different password. 

Third-party software will be more secure than the password managers found on your browser, which hackers can easily breach. 

Good password managers will require you to log in with an access code that only you have.

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