The risk of a data breach increases when travelling book your hotel room online, buy souvenirs at a small shop or use your credit card to pay for lunch. Almost anything you do while traveling can make you vulnerable to a data breach and possibly lead to identity theft.

“Nothing is insurmountable,” says Jerry Irvine, chief information officer at it employer Prescient solutions and a member of the National Cybersecurity Partnership. “Someone up if you enter enter.”

More at risk of cyber attack while travelling

You risk exposing yourself to cyber attacks while traveling for one simple reason: you’re going where they want to hang out. According to the 2013 Trustwave Global Security Report, the places most targeted by data fraudsters are retail stores, bars and restaurants, and hotels. Only three sectors were targets for 78 percent of all breaches.

The report says they are “vulnerable because of the number of credit and debit cards used in purchases, and“ the main focus of organisations operating in these areas is not data security, but customer service, ”says Irvine.

Big and small goals
It doesn’t matter if you’re sipping a drink in a cute little cafe or staying in the presidential suite of a gigantic chain hotel. Regardless of its size, the company you’re dealing with can be a target.

Last summer, the Federal Trade Commission ordered Wyndham Worldwide Corp.’a sued Russia for lax data security measures that resulted in three data breaches at the company’s hotels in less than two years through a registered Internet domain address . Those failures led to millions of dollars in fraud charges on consumers ‘ credit and debit cards, the lawsuit says.

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Small and medium-sized businesses can be more vulnerable, if not more.
“It used to be that only large organizations had to worry about security,” Irvine says. Now, “just like an animal in the wild, the weakest in the herd to aim,” theft of customers ‘ personal information and online secure connections and usually for small businesses who don’t realize they are at risk of decline processes.

“A bed and breakfast or boutique hotel might be really great at what they do, but they may have entered the online world and not thought about the consequences,” says Eva Velasquez, CEO and president of the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center. .

Trustwave’s research found that cardholder information was quickly sold in the underground market, where it was used to conduct fraudulent transactions. Almost three-quarters of the victims were in the United States, and the attacks took place in 29 different countries, and Romania was the starting point for a third of the attacks.

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Vice president Michael Bruemmer of Experian Credit Bureau data breaches solution, a portion of the risk related to the travel industry “more than one entry point” says that, therefore the room through a third party online travel, flight reservation if you make your web site or your car, hotel, airline or car rental company should be sent to.
After the trip, the danger may remain for a long time: for example, a hotel may hold on to your information for years to market to you.

Do the basics to reduce crime rates
There is usually nothing you can do to prevent data breaches. Thieves often target weaknesses in the data systems of businesses, not individuals.

But keep your protection and follow general credit card security rules:

Like an animal in the wild, they target the weakest in the herd.
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Watch your card closely. Even low-tech activities such as handing over your credit card or passport at a hotel can make you vulnerable. A receptionist can record your credit card number, expiration date and security code and then use it for nefarious purposes. Or someone might steal your personal information from your passport.
Do not use public Wi-Fi. Going online using public Wi-Fi anywhere, including your hotel room, airport lounge or a coffee shop could put you at risk by cyber criminals, experts warn. “You open yourself up to all sorts of abusive individuals in the network, too,” says Christopher Dore, Edelson’s attorney, who has dealt with many class-action lawsuits related to consumer technology. Dore returned from his honeymoon on a $ 1,000 fraud charge on his credit card. He suspects the information was stolen while staying at a small hotel in Turkey.
Instead of using public Wi-Fi, you should use a virtual private network (VPN) or encrypted connection, says Bruemmer.
Check your statement carefully. Snapshots may be more fun to look at, but as soon as you get your credit card statement, examine it carefully for anything that’s out of place.
Dore says the risks can be greater when you travel abroad in many places where there are often fewer regulations and government agencies to protect you.

What happens after a breach
While there is no federal law requiring you to receive notification of a data breach, 46 states have such requirements. Exceptions are Alabama, Kentucky, New Mexico and South Dakota.

In general, if a certain number of people have been affected by a data breach, the company or organization is required to send you a notification letter, but there is no time frame to indicate when the letter should come out.

Sectors targeted by cyber heroes – Retail, Food and drink, hotels

If you’re traveling and your information is breached, you won’t get an overnight notification, says Velasquez. It’s more likely to take weeks and you’ll probably be back home by then. She recommends that someone at home check your mail regularly if you’re going to go for an extended period of time.

The company must also inform debit card associations such as Visa and MasterCard and notify your bank.

That doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get a new credit card or debit card, says Tom Shaw, vice president of USAA financial crime management. Your card issuer will take into account the type of information stolen, look at how often fraud occurs on other cards that are part of the same data breach, and calculate the probability of your card being seized.

If rates are low, the bank monitors your account rather than issuing a new card. However, if fraudulent activity is detected, your card will be disabled immediately.

This can put you in a big bind as you travel. In such a case, contact your credit card or debit card regulator immediately to find out what is going on.

Bruemmer says major providers such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express can often cancel your card, rearrange it and deliver it to you within 24 hours.

“It can be an inconvenience then, but it really is to protect you,” Velasquez says.