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Tuesday, 13 June 2017 | MYT 6:00 AM

Beware of WiFi when on holiday

 Travellers may just be compromising their personal information compromised by accessing unsecured WiFi access points —  AFP

Travellers may just be compromising their personal information compromised by accessing unsecured WiFi access points — AFP

The holiday season can be a lot of fun for everyone, including cybercriminals who may try to exploit travellers who use unsecured WiFi access points.

These travellers may just be compromising their personal information compromised by doing so.

 “Consumers in Asia Pacific remain unaware of the dangers of connecting to public WiFi access points and tend to carry this habit when they travel due to the need to remain reachable for work and to share their travel experiences on social media,” said David Freer, vice president, consumer, Asia Pacific, McAfee.

The wide availability of WiFi networks can make it difficult to unplug and disconnect on holiday but if consumers take that extra step and unplug they can experience a more secure trip. While many individuals did not intend to unplug while travelling, those that did reported a much more enjoyable experience.

A new study by McAfee, Digital Detox: Unwind, Relax and Unplug revealed that more than half of survey respondents in India (52%) and Japan (67%) could not last a day without checking their work or personal e-mail. The majority admitted to checking e-mails at least once a day. In contrast, only 29% of respondents in Australia could not go a day without checking their work or personal e-mail.

 

Less than half of participants from Australia and Japan know how to determine whether a WiFi connection is secure, with even less taking the time to check their connection.

More worrying is travellers from Asia Pacific considered their personal information and data to be more secure while travelling than it is at home, as compared to travellers from the US.

To keep your personal information safe while travelling, ensure that you are connecting securely and avoid using public or unsecured WiFi networks. If you absolutely must connect to a public WiFi network, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) . A VPN will keep your information private and ensure that data goes straight from your device to where you are connecting.

Also, make sure your devices’ operating system and applications are updated. Using old versions of software could leave you open to potential security vulnerabilities.

Install comprehensive security and use location applications to help you find, lock and even erase your device’s data in the event of theft or loss.  

If you lose your connected device, especially on vacation, it can be difficult to recover. This may make it a vacation you won't forget, for the wrong reason. 

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