Traveling abroad is now easier than it has ever been, and many are beginning to take advantage of cheaper airfares, more broadly accepted travel cards, and lower interest rates. But it’s a double edged-sword. As people make plans to travel the world, they often get caught up in the excitement and fail to protect themselves from online identity theft—a problem that is on the rise.
The situation is reaching epidemic proportions. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 16.6 million people fell victim to identity theft in 2012 alone. So it seems the days of saying, “It’ll never happen to me” are over.
Here’s what you need to know about the ways travelers are being targeted, and what tech solutions are available to combat the threat.
1. Insecure Public WiFi Networks
Whenever you access the Internet on the move—at a café, airport, park, library, or shopping mall—you’re putting yourself and your information at risk. Hackers have become adept at stealing personal data, and there’s a lot they can do with it when they’re given half a chance.
Solution: Protecting your information from malicious intent is as simple as getting yourself set up on The Onion Router (TOR), a secure network that encrypts all Internet traffic to and from your device, making it unreadable by others.