Hello traveller, I am your travellers’ guide for your today’s and future’s safety. Whenever you plan your vacation, this guide will help you avoid going broke or leaking your sensitive information. Now, you must not think that for a guide I am being too protective because that is the actual purpose of a guide; to guide you do things the right way.
Let’s make things interesting by asking you a few questions, which might raise your curiosity horns
What is the worst situation you have imagined when using an ATM while travelling?
Maybe there’s a hacked camera in the ATM area? Or maybe someone has followed you to the ATM and might rob you? Or none of these maybe. However, the worst is not this. Technology, which provided you the ATM card and machine is now providing these cyber criminals new methods to play around; methods which leave you wondering, and maybe wandering too, if you are not careful.
As your guide, it’s my job (not literally) to enlighten you that criminals are giving their best efforts to buy Lamborghinis on your money. How? Good one! It’s called ATM skimming.
What is skimming? How do they buy Lamborghini with my money?
Again, not literally a Lamborghini but yes, depends on how soon you realize. Cutting to the chase, skimming is a very clever way by which criminals gain access to your ATM card’s information from the magnetic black stripe present at the back side. How? They start by attaching a sneaky card reader and a hidden camera in the ATM to note your PIN.
After that they can easily make a copy of your card and use the information or sell it outside to the black market for good money. Mostly, we don’t notice minor details like this but these things do happen and can do great loss to you. I strongly disagree that you’d want to lose your money on your vacation, especially if you are out with your wife/partner.
Losing your money or information to an ATM still makes a bit of sense, but I have something slightly more interesting for you. Does airport annoy you when you have to sit for hours just because your flight gets delayed? Let me show you around what’s happening at the airport.
Using a laptop at the airport because flight got delayed, what do you think can happen?
Yeah, what’s the worst that could happen? I’ve got news then. We all know an airport is secure and it’s nearly impossible for criminals to get in there. Welcome to the virtual world dear traveller as in this world, everything is possible.
You are sitting and trying to connect to an open Wi-Fi network at the airport, entering your details to check your email. Who knows where someone is recording your credentials as everybody is walking around with a camera in the cell phone. Now the questions stands, who could even read that? You must have heard about slow-motion recording, haven’t you?
Yes, they use that and yes, it has happened to people. Details like credit card numbers, account details, and e-mail passwords have been hacked in these places. To avoid such situations, you need to be aware of your surroundings only. It’s an easy practice and requires a curious look around only. As spoken about Wi-Fi, did you know hotel rooms have fake Wi-Fi spots?
What could a Wi-Fi do to harm me or my financials?
Yeah! We live in the world full of possibilities my dear traveller. A Wi-Fi is connected to your device, and your device holds sensitive information. Do you know that hackers can actually look inside your data, read it and track your activities? Now, let a criminal track your abilities and then use my first line of this sentence.
Answer is right there, what a Wi-Fi cannot do to harm you or your financials; a lot. Yes, I may sound a bit spooky, but the point is to provide you with guidance and awareness, and not scare you. Consider using a VPN in these cases as VPN encrypt data and provides you with a security layer over your device to ensure your privacy and security is intact.
I, as your travel guide, wish you safe travels and hope you’ll remember these points always to have a risk-free, secure trip to the most beautiful locations in the world. Travel safe, stay safe, stay out of troubles and make the most of it while you are at it.