Using Wi-fi on holiday without a VPN?

Exploring the risks to your bank account & more

August’s holiday season is in full swing and with it comes the long list of essentials to make your summer break the well earned relaxing trip you’ve looked forward to for months. But are the risks of surfing online without the protection of a trusted VPN worthwhile? Here we explore the increasing ‘hacker dangers’ waiting at the airport, coffee lounge, hotel lobby and more.

You’re excited to begin your holiday, landing safely at your holiday destination and recently pulled up at your sun drenched hotel. The travel weariness has been shaken off thanks to the poolside scene viewed from your checked-in hotel room. Setting down your bags on the bed, you decide to explore the hotel, with a quick stop en-route stop to the hotel bar to grab a drink whilst hopping online, to take full advantage of the complimentary ‘guest areas’ wi-fi. What could go wrong in a setting like this?

Alarmingly it turns out, quite a lot. In a recent report by the Mail on Sunday, Cyber Security expert Colin Tankard revealed just how easily hackers are able to hijack holiday makers computers whilst their guards are down. Sophisticated gadgets, which can look innocuous to the untrained eye, are giving hackers the tools to set up rogue ‘unsecured’ networks, posing as anything from hotel to airport wi-fi. Meaning that once the unsuspecting traveller has logged online, they’re exposed to the tactics of hackers, poised to take advantage of blissfully ignorant holiday makers.

So just how are hackers managing to take advantage of holiday makers online activities? It turns out that hackers are using popular public wi-fi areas like hotel lobbies to set up fake ‘unsecured’ wi-fi networks that look like the real thing, but are actually imitating the locations signal. Using sophisticated gadgets that both create and boost their fake signals, hackers swoop in to take advantage of those who take the bait.

With hotel chains increasingly becoming a target for unscruplious hacker activity, the likes of Marriot, Hyat and Intercontinental Hotel group are having their ease of access customer wi-fi exploited for what can be a highly lucrative pursuit.

The hackers activities extend from the set up of fake wi-fi, to the use of software which when latched onto your computer, projects a carbon copy of known websites such as Amazon, or high street banks. Which when accessed, expose you to having passwords, log in’s and credit card information, ‘harvested’ to be used to empty your account, or redirect future online purchases to an alternate address from your own.

And it’s not only hotels and airports that travellers need to be wary of logging online without using a VPN. Hackers are expanding their reach to capture personal data using train, shopping centre, hospital and coffee shop wi-fi’s too.

For those in the know, a VPN is as critical as sunscreen or local currency when it comes to holiday essentials. And why wouldn’t it be? Thanks to the lengths that hackers are taking to steal personal data, the security, protection and safety achieved through a virtual private network offer overwhelming advantages that are economically and practically sound.

So, with August’s holiday season well underway, if you haven’t already, do the smart thing and subscribe to Hidden 24 VPN. Giving you the safety, security and protection online that you and your holiday deserve.