Traveling during or around any of the winter holidays can be stressful. Not only are the holidays one of the biggest times of the year to travel, but there are also a handful of concerns that you should keep in mind aside from making your plane.
For example, the amount of devices that are connected to the WiFi at any given airport during the holidays is astronomical. This huge amount of connected devices makes airports and other places of public gathering great targets for hackers who are able to take personal information from devices with ease. However, this risk does not mean that you shouldn’t travel during the holidays or constantly be on the lookout. Instead, it is more efficient to focus on the things that you can do to keep your data and devices safe when traveling.
About charging at public stations
Throughout airports you’ll see public charging stations, which look convenient but are actually a target for what is referred to as “juice hacking”. This type of hacking involves using the USB ports at public charging stations to transfer malware to a device, making it a very bad idea to use those stations blindly. Alternatively, you can bring your own chargers and plug directly into a power outlet to keep your device safe. In nearly every airport and other travel hub, you’ll be able to find open outlets with little effort.
Encrypt your data
Encryption refers to the process of scrambling information rapidly, making it impossible for anybody viewing the data to interpret it. This technique can be helpful for making sure nobody is spying on you without your knowledge—it’s also easily accessible through many different services, though you’ll have to check how to do it depending on which phone you have (Google and Apple both have encryption services you can set up). Even using encryption normally and not just around the holidays can be useful, especially if you store personal information on your computer or use a laptop for work.
Avoid public WiFi
Public WiFi is one of the biggest targets of hackers as it is very easy to breach and allows you to go directly in-between somebody’s device and the network. Through this medium, hackers can take any information that you are passing onto the network, leaving your information incredibly vulnerable. To get around this issue, try investing in a VPN for when you travel so you can ensure your data is safe. Without a VPN, public WiFi makes it much easier to steal your information.