Alarm distribution companies put their advertising and marketing teams to work each summer to remind consumers of the importance of keeping homes safe during the holidays. With the arrival of the summer season, the advice on not sharing information about your next trip on social networks or not disconnecting the WiFi is also repeated so as not to raise suspicions among the thieves. But what measures should you take to defend yourself from criminals who operate on the network?
Cybersecurity has become an increasingly important issue among Internet users, as cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attack methods. These criminals find several resources by which they try to defraud their victims during vacation periods with the ultimate goal of getting their data and money. That’s why, after locking doors and windows, hiding your valuables or hiring an alarm, you should not let your guard down to stay safe digitally this summer as well.
The most frequent traps
The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) has identified some of the most typical summer threats to our cybersecurity.
Fake vacation rental ads
Independent apartments and rural houses have become the first option for many vacationers, partly thanks to the facilities offered by accommodation search applications. However, cybercriminals take advantage of these contact networks between individuals to try to make money through false advertisements.
Be wary of offers that are too good or too cheap for your requested destination. It is also a good idea to check the reviews of other renters and opt out if the landlord hides their phone number or email address or rushes you to process your reservation. Before anything else, it is best to make sure that you are dealing with the original owner of the home.
An unknown number asks you for money
Yes, perhaps the crudest scam is the one that has led to the greatest number of people affected. And it is that cybercriminals play in these cases with an emotional component. In recent months, many of these have contacted fathers and mothers via SMS, impersonating their children to ask for money. An alibi, a presumed friend’s phone number, and a random bank account to ask for the deposit from is all they need.
A priori this may sound like a troll to ordinary mortals, but what if your child is really on vacation and has had a problem? Well, it is best to call his phone directly, or that of one of the people who has accompanied them, before making any movement.
Beware of open networks
Open WiFi networks are a widely extended service, especially in public spaces such as stations and airports. Accessing any of them, especially if a password is not required, can put our device in the target of cybercriminals who want to get our data.
Something similar happens with QR codes, which after the pandemic have become popular again in a variety of hospitality establishments. Typically, you are asked to scan a code that redirects to a web page where the letter or restaurant menu is hosted. Some browsers will warn you if you connect to a site with an unsecured server, whose URL begins with the initials http, without the security s. If you omit this message, you will access the website at your own risk, where you may be asked for personal or payment information.