Albuquerque, NM (PRWEB) May 18, 2011
Airports are hotbeds for identity theft, and from rogue Wi-Fi hotspots to new wirelessly accessible e-passports, travelers have never been at greater risk. The EC-Council, an international cybersecurity training and consulting group, is urging travelers to be aware of the risks, and offers the following tips that can help travelers stay safe this summer.
Planning your trip:
- Avoid travel deals that sound too good to be true – they probably are. Research the company behind the deal to see if they’re accredited by the IATA (International Air Transport Association), have been mentioned by the media as a reputable company, or have been listed on any sites as a potentially fraudulent scam (e.g., Better Business Bureau online). Also read travel-related scam forums (e.g., 419legal.org) for others’ experiences with the same company.
- Be cautious of scams that take advantage of popular coupon sites, like Groupon, where deals could easily be misrepresented, with vague details and intentionally hidden information about pricing.
- Pay for your trip by credit card, as you are better protected against losses due to theft and fraud. Avoid using cash, check, or debit cards (unless your debit card carries this protection) as you risk complete loss and increased liability.
On the trip:
- Don’t use public computers at Internet cafés or hotels.
- Try to avoid using public Wi-Fi – even if it’s provided at the airport, on the plane, or in the hotel. Criminals can set up fake public Wi-Fi access points that, once you connect, give them access to all of your information. If you must use publicly provided Wi-Fi, ask the hotel to confirm the exact name of the Wi-Fi network. Instead of public Wi-Fi, try using MiFi (e.g., Novatel MiFi Mobile Hotspot), or “tether” your laptop, netbook, or tablet to your smartphone’s 3G service.
- New e-passports contain embedded RFID chips, which contain personal information that attackers can read wirelessly from hundreds of feet away, and use to clone your passport. Use an RFID blocking passport wallet, like those from Kena Kai, which are approved according to the U.S. government’s FIPS 201 standard.
- Turn off Bluetooth on your mobile devices when not using it. Hackers can use Bluetooth to steal personal information and install malicious software.
- Be careful with social media: Don’t announce to everyone on Facebook or Twitter that you are away from your unguarded house on holiday. This makes it easy for criminals to target you.
“Travelers today face an incredible number of new and potentially dangerous cyber threats,” said Jay Bavisi, president and co-founder of EC-Council. “Wi-Fi is the most common risk most people face, and it is hard to tell the difference between a legitimate public Wi-Fi hotspot and a rogue access point set up by a hacker. It’s important for travelers to understand the types of risks they face and to be cognizant of the information stored on their personal laptops, netbooks, tablets, and phones.”
It’s also important for travelers to realize that they can also get hacked on the plane – 30,000 feet above the earth. As technology becomes more pervasive and capable of storing more and sending it faster, the risk will continue to grow.
The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) is a member-based organization that certifies individuals in cybersecurity and e-commerce. It is the owner and developer of 20 security certifications, including Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) and Certified Security Analyst /Licensed Penetration Tester (ECSA/LPT). EC-Council has trained over 90,000 security professionals and certified more than 40,000 members. Its certification programs are offered by over 450 training centers across 84 countries. These certifications are recognized worldwide and have received endorsements from various government agencies including the U.S. Department of Defense via DoD 8570.01-M, the Montgomery GI Bill, National Security Agency (NSA) and the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS). EC-Council also operates EC-Council University and the global series of Hacker Halted information security conferences. The global organization is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More information about EC-Council is available at http://www.eccouncil.org.