Protecting your mobile on holiday

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

As many of us head overseas in the next few weeks to enjoy our summer holidays, expect to see the usual stories in the media about thefts of mobile phones or notepads, wallets and other personal belongings. As the visitors step out so do the crooks and pick-pockets. You  can protect yourself by securely looking after your belongings but how do you deal with a cyber attack?

Whilst cyber attacks can take place virtually anywhere in the world, a recent study by Keeper Security (a US a password manager and digital vault for consumers) and shows where mobile security threats are more likely to occur and guess what; two of our favourite holiday destinations – Spain and Portugal- head the list.

Overall, the USA has five million mobile threats per year but, as a percentage of the total population, 1.56% of the people will be affected. But three countries have figures which show that a threat to your mobile is twice as high. I have already mentioned the top two countries. In the UK, 3.07% of us will be affected but in the Netherlands – the 4th country in the list – it is just 1.89%. Then comes the USA, Poland, Canada, France and Greece. Rounding off the top ten is Italy which some might found a rather surprising choice. Your chance of a cyber issue there is about a sixth of your chance of one in Spain.

But as I mentioned before, problems with your belongings can occur anywhere. Keeper Security have some advice for all of us.

  • Double check to be sure all of your apps are password protected with fresh, new passwords, ideally stored in your password management system (how many of us have these?) so you don’t have to remember any of them. When doing this, use two-factor authentication if possible, which most devices have today. Make the passwords eight characters or longer with a combination of nonsensical letters, numbers, and symbols.  And don’t use the same PIN for hotel room safes that you use for your device password.
  • At all cost, avoid using “public” digital devices, such as those at coffee houses, libraries, and internet cafes. They are often notoriously riddled with malware lurking to steal your information. If you use them, you should presume that someone other than you would see any information you enter
  • Be very careful about connecting to any Wi-Fi network if you haven’t subscribed to a global service previously, per the tip above. These are prime milieus for cyber thieves.
  • Don’t charge your devices using anything other than your own chargers plugged directly into the wall or into your adapter. It is easy for cyber thieves to install malware onto hotel and other public docking stations. And never connect any USB drive or other removable media that you don’t personally own. Again, they are easy to load with malicious software.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: ,