Watch Outs When Travelling


The summer holiday season is only around the corner – and for many it will be their first get-away in a few years. However, despite so much to get organised, travellers also need to think about online security if taking laptops, phones or tablets with them. 

Public Wi-Fi connections

Although many airports offer free Wi-Fi connectivity, you should make sure that you join the official airport network and not a similar network that is configured to trick travellers into giving up their usernames and passwords. Watch out for fake networks with convincing names such as Costa_Guest_WiFi. These appear legitimate but can be used to steal login information and passwords. To counteract the threat, make sure your device settings aren’tautomatically connecting you to nearby networks.

It is also advised not to do any financial or password protected transactions on a public Wi-FI without using a VPN. Airports are often rife with hackers in the communal travel areas, knowing people will be doing last minute currently buying and loading up pre-paid card etc.

Pay attention to your surroundings

Tourists and travellers also need to be aware of other devices that could contain malware – malicious software that allows hackers to steal or access your data. Something as innocent as a USB cord for recharging mobiles can be exploited by hackers who preload them with malware that infiltrates your device as soon as you plug it in. To be safe decline offers of USB charging devices and take your own.

It is also unwise to leave your phone unattended anywhere because hackers are able to steal data undetected in crowded departure lounges, particularly if you are distracted.

SMS and Email Travel Updates

Be aware of any travel-related emails, texts or social media posts. Scammers may try to grab details and data using a phishing campaign by pretending to be your airline, credit card company, or travel agent.

They may send an email that claims to be a pre-boarding check and direct you to a fake website. Here they will ask for personal information and possibly financial details, so they can take false payments before you release anything is amiss. If you are unsure, then go direct to your travel provider using details supplied to you on your original holiday confirmation details.

Other phishing emails may purport to be from foreign currency providers offering great exchange rates – if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is – best to be wary.

For further support and guidance on best online practice and affordable practical help to increase online protection contact the NEBRC at:

The North East Business Resilience Centre operates as part of a national network to help protect businesses from the growing issue of online risk and fraud. An impartial, not-for-profit organisation the NEBRC is police-led and resourced.