Travellers throughout the world are being warned about the importance of internet security ahead of their holidays this summer.
Particularly at risk can be gap year students who use the internet to keep in touch with family and fellow travellers and for planning their next move.
The warning comes as access to the internet becomes easier with many people taking lap tops and mobile phones on their holidays, plus the increase in the amount of internet cafes abroad.
Tom Griffiths of the website gapyear.com is worried that travellers are not taking internet security whilst abroad seriously enough, saying “More people than ever are taking smart phones on holiday with them, but they are not protecting them with passwords or logging off websites once they’ve used them.” He continued “You carry your life around in your phone and because it’s with you all the time, you leave yourself logged in to a variety of websites from Facebook to internet banking. This is just like leaving the front door key to your house out for someone to use.”
Cyber cafes are not immune from cyber crime either with many people not fully logging off or closing down websites properly that they have visited.
Mr Griffiths re-iterated the importance of choosing passwords that are totally unique, making sure you log off from every website you visit and never discuss personal details or precise travel plans on social networking sites such as Facebook.
One particular student backpacker was extremely lucky when someone took his personal details from an internet café in Bogota. They emailed his parents, pretending to be him, asking for money. By pure chance the student contacted his parents by telephone before they could send the money and the scam was foiled.