Staying cybersecure when on the road
Jul 12, 2011 9:30am
By Jennifer Leuer, Senior Vice President of Experian Consumer Direct
Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, the last thing you want to think about is having your identity stolen. At Experian’s ProtectMyID, we wanted to better understand how travelers were putting themselves at risk and commissioned a survey to look into it. The survey results indicated that people often leave themselves open to unnecessary risk, but there are simple steps you can take to stay cyber secure while on the road.
Identity theft is a real risk and one that is amplified during the summer months. Survey results indicated that, whether booking flights at home, logging on at a Wi-Fi hotspot in the airport or surfing the Web in a hotel room, people can put their information at risk if their connection is not secure.
Additional results indicated that enterprising identity thieves who monitor social networks or online activity will find plenty of victims. About one-fifth of all survey respondents post their travel plans to social networking sites, and the number increases in the 18-to-34 demographic. Survey trends also showed the bulk of travelers staying connected while on vacation, with a disturbing number accessing public Wi-Fi, increasing their personal data’s vulnerability.
Whether on a staycation or a far away vacation, following are ProtectMyID summer travel tips that people can do themselves as way to better protect their identities:
1. Wi-Fi hotspots are a hotbed for identity thieves. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents use public Wi-Fi in some capacity while traveling.
2. Be careful about broadcasting travel plans. Almost 50 percent of survey respondents between the ages of 18 to 34 post to their social media pages with updates on their travel whereabouts.
3. Book travel on secure sites. Fifty-two percent of survey respondents aged 18 to 34 usually book travel via online third party sites.