The Traveler’s Guide to Holiday Cyber Security

Taking a holiday used to mean unplugging from the real world. These days, many of us stay connected wherever our travels take us. You can browse, game, stream, or torrent from a beach in Bali, a campsite in Canada, or anywhere in between. You just need a good internet connection.

Sounds great, right? It is, but it also means your cybersecurity is at risk everywhere you go

More than 330 million people were cybercrime victims in 2020, a number that’s only increasing.  Considering that 95% of the time human error is to blame, you can take steps to protect your cybersecurity when you travel. 

In this guide, I’ll share some of the main cyber threats you should watch out for when on holiday. I’ll also give you cybersecurity tips and best practices to keep you safe, so you can kick back, relax, and enjoy your vacation worry-free.  

Stay Safe On Your Holiday

No matter where your holiday takes you, a VPN like CyberGhost will protect your internet connection. It also gives you access to your favorite websites and streaming services from home that geo-blocks usually stop you from using.

Biggest Cybersecurity Risks for Vacationers

Wouldn’t it be nice if cybercriminals would just leave you alone when you went on vacation? Sadly, they don’t. In fact, holiday travelers are prime targets for cyber attacks, such as malware, phishing scams, man-in-the-middle, and DDoS attacks. 



Here are some things to watch out for to help prevent cyber attacks:

    • ⚠ Travel ScamsCongratulations, you’re a winner! Never give your personal information out over the phone or click on an email link from someone you don’t know. That said, identity thieves are getting savvier by the day, and sometimes you might get a vacation email offer from a company or person you know. Delete it!
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    • ⚠ Public Wi-Fi – Public Wi-Fi is super convenient. When you travel, it lets you get online without having to rack up huge data and roaming charges. The trouble is, most public Wi-Fi lacks even the most basic security measure: a password. That means it’s easy for cybercriminals to hack into your device, spy on you, and steal your data.

Chances are you’ll use Wi-Fi when you travel. That’s why it’s smart to get a VPN. CyberGhost VPN gives you a fully secure connection on public Wi-Fi. We even have an automatic Kill Switch that adds a layer of security by blocking all traffic if your connection drops for any reason.

    • ⚠ Shared Public Computers – Hotels, cafes, libraries, and some airports offer computers that anyone can use. That includes cybercriminals. Shared computers often have out-of-date antivirus software or no internet security at all. That makes it easy for the bad guys to install malicious viruses or software to access your information.
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    • ⚠ Device Theft – Pickpockets and thieves often target tourists, especially in crowded cities. If someone steals one of your devices they could get access to your personal data. 

Holiday Cybersecurity Tips and Best Practices

Vacation cybersecurity actually starts before you leave your house. You can easily avoid travel scams by simply not engaging. However, protecting your mobile devices from cyber attacks takes a little more preparation and awareness.

Packing for Your Trip

    • 🛫 Take fewer devices – The more you take, the more there is for thieves to steal or cybercriminals to attack. If you don’t need your laptop or tablet to work, game, read, or stream things like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, leave them at home. 
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    • 🛫 Bring a portable charger – Cybercriminals can turn public USB charging stations into hacking devices that steal your mobile data. It’s called “juice jacking,” and the best way to avoid it is to have your own charging device.
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    • 🛫 Back up your data – If your device is compromised while you’re on vacation, the only way to retain your data is to have a copy. Make sure your contacts, photos, videos, and important files are stored on the cloud or another secure device.
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    • 🛫 Install antivirus and anti-spyware software – This will help prevent cyber attacks on your devices. If it’s already installed, make sure you update it to the latest version.
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    • 🛫 Update your device’s software – Up-to-date operating systems and software will fix bugs and help protect your devices against viruses and spyware.
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    • 🛫 Turn on “find my device” – If your device goes missing while you’re on holiday, “find my device” will help you locate it and possibly retrieve it. If you can’t get it back, it may let you delete your data so the bad guys can’t get it.
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    • 🛫 Install CyberGhost VPN – A VPN, like CyberGhost, will protect your data and privacy while you travel. 

Not all VPNs are created equally. CyberGhost VPN uses state-of-the-art VPN protocols (like WireGuard®, OpenVPN, and IKEv2) and military grade 256-bit AES encryption. This prevents spying and keeps your data secure. We also hide your IP address to keep you anonymous.

While On Holiday

      • 🏖️ Protect yourself on public Wi-Fi with a VPN – The best way to secure your digital identity and privacy on public Wi-Fi is with a VPN like CyberGhost. It keeps your data encrypted and keeps you anonymous.
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      • 🏖️ Disable auto-connect to Wi-Fi (unless you have a VPN) – Some devices automatically connect to available Wi-Fi networks. Shut this setting off! When it’s on, you risk being on an unsecure network without even knowing it. If you have CyberGhost VPN you don’t have to worry about this because we automatically protect you on public Wi-Fi.
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      • 🏖️ Avoid shared public computers – Looking up local restaurants or movie times is one thing. However, never access personal data, online banking, or make online purchases from a shared computer.
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      • 🏖️ Avoid accessing sensitive personal data – If you don’t input your personal information or payment details while on holiday, there’s less of a chance for someone to steal them.
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      • 🏖️ Keep your device on you and locked – When you set down your device in public, make sure it’s locked, and never step away from it. It just takes a minute for someone to steal your data or infect your device.
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      • 🏖️ Use face ID or a strong PIN or password – Face ID, a PIN, or a password that isn’t easy to guess is critical to keep bad guys out of your device. Make sure you change PINs and passwords before your trip, and don’t use the same one for every device.
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      • 🏖️ Turn off bluetooth – If you’re not actively using bluetooth, shut it off. If you don’t want to shut it off, make sure it’s undiscoverable. Also, don’t pair bluetooth in public. Cybercriminals can scan for this and gain access to your device. 
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      • 🏖️ Be aware of people watching you – If you must access sensitive data while you travel, shield your device like you’d shield your PIN at an ATM. Also, consider getting a privacy screen for your laptop.
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      • 🏖️ Charge your devices wisely – Use regular outlets or your personal, portable charger to charge your devices. Never use a portable charger from someone you don’t know, and avoid public USB chargers. If you have to use a public charger, make sure the power is off on your device first.

CyberGhost VPN works with any device, from smartphones and tablets to laptops and more. We have apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. Connect up to 7 devices at once with just one subscription to keep your entire family cyber-secure while on holiday! 

Protect Your At-Home Devices

The internet of things goes beyond your phone, tablet, and laptop. Your smart home is also at risk. Wi-Fi routers, smart TVs, smart speakers, game consoles, smart security systems, and smart appliances are all potential targets. Heck, even your car is connected. It’s important to protect the devices you leave behind in addition to the ones you take on holiday. 

Make sure you back up, lock, and password protect everything you can. Power everything off that doesn’t need to be on. Keep your OS and software up-to-date, and turn on “find my device,” if possible. Last, but not least, lock the door and set the alarm on your way out!

CyberGhost VPN gives you the same great protection at home that you get on holiday. We also help you bypass local network restrictions at work and school, so you can browse, stream, game, or torrent freely. 

Travel During the Holiday Season

The holiday season isn’t just a busy time for holiday travelers and shoppers. It’s also a busy time for cyber attacks. A 2021 study showed a 70% increase in attempted ransomware attacks in November and December, compared to January and February.

What does this mean for you? If you’re traveling for the holidays, take a look at our blog on popular holiday frauds to watch out for. Then, follow our cybersecurity tips and best practices to prevent becoming a cyber attack victim. 

When you shop online during your holiday travels:

    • ⚠ Make sure the site is secure – If the site is secure, you’ll see a padlock icon. If the site isn’t secure, the lock will be open or the words “Not Secure” will appear in your address bar. Only provide your payment and personal details on secure sites!
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    • ⚠ Be aware of bogus offers and sites – If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Only shop with reputable sites and retailers.
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    • ⚠ Don’t use your debit card – Your debit card gives cybercriminals direct access to your bank account. Instead, use a credit card, prepaid debit card, or a payment service like Apple Pay or PayPal.  
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    • ⚠ Pay attention to your accounts – Keep an eye on your bank and credit card accounts to make sure you recognize all the purchases. If you don’t, report it immediately!
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    • ⚠ Protect purchases with a VPN – It’s a must that you personal information and payment details stay secure online. Get CyberGhost VPN to protect your travel and purchases during the holidays and every day.

Need More Protection?

Out of the box, CyberGhost VPN gives you complete internet freedom. Our No Logs policy also ensures we never track, store, or share what you do online.

CyberGhost also has a cutting-edge Security Suite that protects you against viruses, malware, and cyber attacks.

Want to stay entertained while you travel? We have the fastest VPN servers in the industry. That means you can stream and game from wherever you are with no lagging or video buffering

Now Go Enjoy Your Holiday!

If you follow my holiday cybersecurity tips and best practices you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation free from cyber threats. Arming yourself with CyberGhost VPN will give you complete digital privacy and protection on all your devices. It will also let you say goodbye to geo-blocks so you can access your favorite websites and streaming services when you travel.

We offer a 45-day money-back guarantee, so pack CyberGhost VPN on your next trip risk-free!

FAQ

What are the biggest holiday cybersecurity risks?

Identity theft via malware, phishing scams, man-in-the-middle, and DDoS attacks are common threats to holiday travelers. Using unsecure public Wi-Fi and public computers can put you at risk. Cybercriminals even use USB charging stations in airports and cafes to hack your devices. 

Get CyberGhost VPN and you’ll be fully protected on public Wi-Fi.

How is CyberGhost VPN useful for travelers? 

CyberGhost VPN protects your digital identity and privacy when you travel. We use cutting-edge VPN protocols and military-grade 256-bit AES encryption to prevent spying and cyber attacks. We also hide your IP address to keep you anonymous.

What’s more, CyberGhost VPN works with any device with a Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, or Linux operating system. We also give you access to geo-blocked content. That means you can browse your favorite sites and stream shows from back home while traveling. 

Want to know more about accessing restricted content? Contact customer support 24/7 by live chat or email.

How can you stay safe from cyber threats on holiday?

Protect yourself from cyber threats when you travel by making sure the devices you take have up-to-date virus protection and software. Avoid accessing sensitive personal data, especially on public computers and public Wi-Fi. Keep your device on you and locked, turn off bluetooth when you’re not using it, and use face ID or strong passwords and PINs.

The best way to stay safe from cyber threats is to use a reliable VPN, like CyberGhost. We have a 45-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no reason to leave us behind next time you travel.

Can you protect your home from cyber threats when you’re on holiday? 

Yes, you can protect your home from cyber threats in much the same way you protect the devices you take on holiday. 

Back up, lock, and password protect your devices. Turn on “find my device,” if that’s an option, and power everything off that doesn’t need to be on. 

Also, make sure everything connected to the internet has updated virus protection and software. CyberGhost VPN offers a Security Suite for added protection against viruses and malware, if you need it.

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