Prepping for Holiday Travel Jitters? Kaspersky Experts Offer 5 Tips To Outsmart the Cyber Grinch
If you’re among travelers this holiday season, by now, you must have already booked your flights and made all other arrangements as you head to your most-awaited destination. At the same time, you must be feeling a little antsy about leaving the comfort and security of your home to see a new place. After all, this time of the year is when cybercriminals get their Grinch on.
“Outside the convenience and security of our homes, especially when we travel out of town or overseas, threats increase significantly. The environment changes drastically and presents unknown circumstances so this situation calls for a heightened sense of cyber security awareness and proactive practice of cyber hygiene on the part of the traveler,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
Kaspersky provides five tips below to ease Filipinos’ travels anxiety and fully enjoy their trips during the holiday season:
Never leave your belongings unattended
Leaving your backpack unattended in the airport for a minute or two can result in it being physically destroyed by security guards. It’s not just about airports, though. Keep the things that matter to you (such as your phone, your laptop, and so on) with you at all times, wherever you go. All your devices need to be password-protected and locked when not in use.
Make sure your devices are encrypted
Carrying your stuff with you all the time doesn’t mean your devices won’t be stolen. Using high-quality antitheft backpacks helps, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. We all know that the information on the device is usually worth significantly more than the device itself, so it’s the information you need to protect the most. That’s why you need to ensure that your device’s entire storage unit is encrypted.
Devices with the latest versions of Android are encrypted by default, and so are iOS devices protected with a passcode or password.
Encrypting your data when using risky public WIFI (if it cannot be avoided) for online privacy and encrypting your browser when making payments are possible if your device is installed with a security protection like Kaspersky Premium.
Learn how to find bugs and hidden cameras and fool them
We’ve heard creepy stories about hidden cameras on Airbnb. It’s still happening, and you never know who’ll be the next victim. Fortunately, finding hidden surveillance devices is relatively easy.
You’ll need a small tool that costs less than $50 (PHP2500) in online stores with a radio frequency scanner allowing you to find sources emitting electromagnetic waves, which wireless bugs and cameras usually do. The tool also has a combination of light-emitting diodes and red glass to look for hidden cameras.
Also, if cameras that use infrared illumination are near, you can spot them using your phone; mobile phones can detect infrared emissions. But remember that some phones, for example, iPhones, have too strong an infrared filter in their cameras for this trick.
These techniques won’t find hidden wired microphones, but at least you can easily fool them using the sound of water running from the tap or just some noise that can be produced using services such as Noisli. Background noise nearly ruins all recordings, making communicating in your room safe (most likely).
Know how to spot a dual-view mirror
Remember those two-way mirrors from interrogation rooms in the movies? A person inside the room sees it as a mirror, but someone on the other side sees it as a window looking into the room. They’re rare, though. But they do exist.
Usually, it’s relatively easy: Place a finger on the mirror’s surface, and if there is a gap between the finger and its reflection, it’s an ordinary mirror with a layer of glass above the reflective surface. If there is no gap, the mirror may be a two-way one, and someone on the other side might be looking at you or recording you.
Use a wired mouse and keyboard
You already know it’s a mistake to use the publicly accessible PC in the hotel lobby or one belonging to your host. You probably brought your own laptop with you, anyway. But you should also get a trusted wired version if you use an external keyboard or mouse. Known attacks allow another person to sniff what you type or click using wireless peripherals or inject clicks — even if the communication between your peripherals and the computer is encrypted.