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Cybersecurity experts warn summertime travelers of online hacking scams

Experts warn travelers to be cautious of free Wi-Fi
Posted at 2:30 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 17:19:29-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Cybersecurity experts are warning vacationers that online scams often increase this time of year.

Summer is a busy time of year at the Palm Beach International Airport.

"Very nice place. I love it. I mean you can't beat the Palm Beaches, especially in the wintertime," Jorge Vesquez, who is visiting Palm Beach County this week, told WPTV.

Vesquez is visiting from Lexington, Kentucky. He told WPTV that he travels between the two locations frequently throughout the year.

"I have a traveling addiction," Vesquez said.

Jorge Vesquez, traveler visiting Palm Beach County
Jorge Vesquez said he often visits Palm Beach County throughout the year.

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For traveler Scott Delin, who traveled from Pennsylvania to Palm Beach County this week, traveling is often a mix of business and pleasure.

He was checking work emails when WPTV spoke with him at PBIA on Tuesday. He said he's often concerned about online hackers when he's traveling.

"You think you're answering to somebody at work. You're sending out confidential information, that can hurt," Delin said.

Scott Delin, traveler to Palm Beach County from Pennsylvania
Scott Delin says he is always on the lookout for hackers while traveling.

Cybersecurity experts said that is something to be concerned about, especially this time of year when people are traveling.

"For some reason, Americans on vacation often believe cybersecurity thieves are on vacation as well," Ian Marlow, cybersecurity expert and CEO of cybersecurity giant FitechGelb in Boca Raton, said. "As we see every summer they most assuredly are not."

Marlow said summer travelers should be cautious of free Wi-Fi connectivity, making sure to join the official airport or other networks and not a similar network that is configured to trick you into giving up your username and password.

Ian Marlow, cybersecurity expert
Ian Marlow outlines some of the things that travelers need to look out for to avoid getting scammed.

Also, Marlow said travelers should make sure they know what they are plugging their device into. He said attackers regularly exploit USB chargers by loading malware onto them, which can steal your information.

Lastly, travelers should be on guard for travel-related email, text and social media scams. 

Attackers may try to steal travelers' credentials through phishing campaigns that pretend to be an airline, credit card company or the TSA.

"If I get an email from somebody I don't know, I delete it," Delin said. "Or if it's somebody I don't know, I email my IT department to see if it's safe to open up the email."

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