Safe Travel is Smart Travel: Cyber Vigilance

As flights and hotel bookings surge past pre-pandemic levels, travelers should prepare for a busy holiday season. Crowded airports can be an early holiday gift for identity thieves. Don’t let the chaos of the airport allow you to let your guard down. Gators, remember while traveling over the break period to:

Avoid public Wi-Fi. If you must use free Wi-Fi in airports, cafes, or in hotels, use a VPN to connect. Also, double-check the network’s name (SSID) before connecting. You could unknowingly connect to a spoofed network or someone else’s hotspot, which means what you type could be seen and copied by others.

Beware of vacation rental scams. While perusing Airbnb or Craigslist for a rental, be alert to an offer that’s too good to pass up. Before booking an accommodation online, research the address, owner’s name, and if the property reviews go back more than a few weeks. Check for multiple ways to contact the owner.

Disable auto-connect features. Most phones enable automatic connections for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location services. These features allow others to track your location or send malicious files to your device. Keep these settings disabled when you are not using them!

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