If you have plans to visit a foreign land soon, be careful of becoming an easy prey for fradusters awaiting you online. A study by a leading company that offers endpoint protection solutions has found travellers are “easy targets” for online financial crime when abroad.
Consumers – including holiday makers and business travellers – conduct a lot of financial operations online when abroad, putting themselves at risk for not being properly protected, Kaspersky Lab has found in its new research.
“In today’s connected world, we are able to travel easily, for work or pleasure, and stay connected whilst we do. This ability brings with it amazing and exciting opportunities, but also exposes us to dangers if we are not careful,” says Elena Kharchenko, Head of Consumer Product Management, Kaspersky Lab.
“ It’s all too easy to connect via potentially insecure Wi-Fi abroad then continue our normal habits of banking and shopping online, without stopping to think about the consequences of what we are doing.
As we approach the summer holiday season, we urge travelers to be more cyber savvy, think twice about their online activities abroad and put measures in place to protect their money from harm,” she adds.
The research found 45 percent of travellers believe losing money is one of the top-three threats they may face abroad, and credit card compromise is considered to be a top-three threat by 35 percent users.
These concerns are well-founded – the research also highlighted that there is a real danger when it comes to losing money when traveling: 22 percent of respondents experienced such a loss, and 8 percent have had a card compromised whilst in a foreign country.
In contrast, fewer respondents named device infection (11%) or online fraud (20%) as one of their top-three worries whilst traveling. That’s despite the fact that 18% have been a victim of cybercrime when abroad. Among these, 6% have been hit when banking online and 9% when shopping online.
It’s unsurprising that travellers are becoming victims of cybercrime. 82% connect to public Wi-Fi anywhere when abroad and, using this potentially risky connection which can be intercepted and used by cybercriminals, 61% of consumers bank online and 55% shop online. In addition, 42% of the users admit they shop online with their credit card the same amount, or more, than they do at home.
Without the appropriate protection in place, this behavior is exposing users – and their money – to unnecessary danger, the study has warned, adding but only 34% of users apply a secure connection (VPN) when connecting to public Wi-Fi, while 18% express that they do nothing at all to stay protected.
To prevent loss of money, users have been advised to behave safely when in abroad. They should never lose sight of their credit cards, only connect to the Internet via a secure VPN connection, and use a robust security feature to protect themselves.