The most vulnerable travelers are people who have to use Internet and e-mail.
They’re in danger expressly from vulnerabilities, such as from wirelessly accessible passports to using WIFI.
To save you from aggravation and money losses, here are 11 quick tips:
1. There are no free meals.
The adage is applicable to offerings that appear too good to be true. If you get a unique travel offer, do your due diligence.
Scan Internet news pages for scams. It wouldn’t hurt to check the site of the airline trade organization, International Air Transport Association, www.iata.org.
2. Watch for offers from fakes.
Cybercriminals are prevalent in the travel industry, and are publishing sites that look like the real, well-known companies.
3. Don’t use social media to chat about your travel plans.
Don’t alert criminals. Your home-front and business will be vulnerable.
4. Cautions about debit and credit cards.
Unlike debit cards, credit cards protect against fraud and theft. Better yet, before you travel obtain a no-foreign transaction fee card, be sure to alert your credit card company about your trip.
Just in case you might need help on your trip, get the credit-card issuers’ number that you can telephone collect when you’re overseas. Actually, before you travel, click here to see six must-do financial precautions.
5. Guard against currency conversion surprises.
Don’t sign any checks or receipts that aren’t shown in the local currency. Overseas merchants sometimes try to manipulate travelers – they provide their prices in U.S. currency, not their local currency.
6. Be prepared to utilize your passport when making a purchase.
Reputable foreign merchants don’t trust your credit card unless you have acceptable identification. That’s because U.S. credit cards have the old-fashioned magnetic stripe on the back. European credit cards use the chip-and-pin system, which is a modern fraud-security system.
7. Use your own computer.
For data security and privacy, never use public computers. When traveling overseas, you must take four steps to defend against hackers.
8. Forget WIFI.
Don’t use WIFI. It’s not just a matter of cybercriminals viewing your computers. They’re establishing fake access points, which can give them an entrée to your important files and data.
If you have to use a computer, hook your computer to your smartphone’s service or try MIFI.
9. Protect your e-passport.
They have RFID chips containing your personal information. Cybercriminals can view your information even though you can’t see them. So use an RFID blocking passport.
10. Bluetooth has vulnerabilities.
So turn it off. ”
Wherever you are, cybercriminals use software to intercept your Bluetooth signal to hack into your phone (see these Tips to Prevent Hacking of Your Bluetooth).
11. Think twice about using in-flight mobile phone and SMS services.
They’re just as risky as a WIFI hotspot.
Use these tips to help insure you enjoy your trip and to transact some good business.
Finally, see GlobalEdge, a site with helpful research information at http://globaledge.msu.edu/.
From the Coach’s Corner, related travel tips:
Travel — How to Avoid Foreign Currency-Exchange Fees — When traveling abroad for vacation or business, foreign currency-exchange fees can get costly for thrifty-minded people. There are steps you can take to avoid extra fees in exchanging currency. The pitfalls to avoid range from using airport exchange tables to using credit cards that surcharge the purchase of products and services.
Take Your Business Globally with These 12 Tips — If you want to export your products to the international marketplace, keep in mind and implement 12 steps. They include: 1. Begin on a small scale in an English-speaking country. Unless you speak other languages fluently, begin in a nation where English is spoken. Identify the country where your product will be in demand
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will lead you there.