There’s more to travel than road trips and games, as travelers can be prime targets for scams. To make sure you keep every cent in your pocket, we’ve listed the most common scams to watch out for.
‘Free’ Wi-Fi: You might think you’re being slick by “booting” free Wi-Fi at the airport, but think again. That fake access point could cost you, says Robert Siciliano, an online security expert with McAfee.
“Bad guys are setting up fake access points that are called an evil twin,” he explains. “They’ll often have names like AT&T free Wi-Fi, but really it’s just some guy sitting in the terminal with a router who’s watching all the traffic go through that device, including your bank activity, passwords and usernames.”
In general, avoid using a free wireless connection for surfing and opt for a paid connection like 3G or 4G instead. You can also count on a VPN (virtual private network), which works like a tunnel to encrypt your data and connect you to the Web. With a VPN, even if you’re using an ‘evil twin,’ you can still surf with ease. Just don’t forget to turn off any file sharing programs before you log on.
Travelers should also be cautious when they get to the hotel. “Hijackers can get into your device, connect with you and set up a pop-up that will say something with regards to connecting or downloading, and ultimately infect your machine,” Siciliano warns.