It’s finally that time of year we’ve all been waiting for and it appears to be in full swing; the sweet season of summer! This season is often met with intentionality as we only have about 90 days to make it count. Families and individuals are taking planes, pitching tents, exploring new cities, attending concerts and so much more.
While blue skies and generous amounts of sunshine sounds romantic, there are a handful of cybersecurity dangers and risks that lurk around each corner. In an effort to keep people from falling victim to these schemes, here are our tips to stay cyber safe during the summer months.
Fraudulent booking sites
When it comes to booking any type of lodging for summer trips, there certainly isn’t a shortage of websites to comb through in an attempt to find the best price. However, beware of anything that looks too good to be true. Be sure to use a reputable booking site when planning for that weekend getaway or week-long trip. There are a variety of ways to spot suspicious links to ensure the site you’re using is safe. To take this one step further, simply book lodging directly from the hotel website or give them a call to avoid any hidden scams.
Ask about security policies
It’s common knowledge that hotels will often keep credit card information on file in the event that you decide to order room service, visit the spa or take advantage of other services the hotel offers. This can become problematic when cybercriminals attempt to retrieve guest credit card information. Don’t be shy; ask the hotel what their security policy is and do the research in order to keep your information from falling into the wrong hands.
Dangers of public Wi-Fi
Whether you’re traveling the country or you’re simply out and about at a local coffee shop this summer, beware of the risks of public Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi, or an open network, means anyone can access it. If a network isn’t password protected, that makes it extremely vulnerable. It sets the stage for a data breach or the distribution of malware. So how do you go online if the Wi-Fi is risky? For starters, avoid logging into accounts with sensitive information such as banking websites and wait until you’re connected to a secure Wi-Fi to make any online purchases. If accessing these accounts is a must, consider using a VPN.
Avoid credit card fraud
The last thing you want to deal with during your summer excursions is credit card fraud. Nobody wants to spend their precious vacation time on the phone with their bank because of a stolen credit card. One of the most important ways to avoid this is to simply be aware. Acknowledge your surroundings and plans and make sure your credit cards are in a safe place. In the event that you lose credit cards or they are stolen, be ready to alert your credit card company in a moment’s notice. If you are able, avoid taking your credit cards with you altogether.
Taking a moment to plan for these risks and become familiar with how to avoid these dangers might not be the most exciting way to spend your time, but you’ll be better off if you do. When you take the time to learn how to be cyber safe during summer vacation, you can rest easy knowing you’ve saved yourself from quite the headache if you run into any of these dangers. Tell us how you stay cyber safe during your summer activities in the comments below!