Identity Theft in Hotels?
Who would have known? You could be an easy target in a hotel. Imagine enjoying a vacation as your identity and personal information is being stolen. Adam Levin outlines the problem and gives a simple solution below.
As you consider family vacations, you might want to consider this warning concerning "consumer friendly" technology used in hotels.
Smart hotels use technology to create more convenience for the busy traveler where amenities can be accessed with a click or touch of a screen, but they can also be a hotbed for hackers and scammers. From room keys that use facial recognition, to sensors attuned to guests, to televisions that talk back, touch screen surfaces, smart toilets and temperature controls, these connected devices can have vulnerabilities that can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. With smart hotels and connected rooms, the hotel is collecting troves of data and hackers and scammers are standing by looking to cash in on a hotel guest's personal and financial data. Hotel systems are only as safe as their security measures. Connected devices rely on the internet to function, which increases their attack-able surface.
What should savvy travelers do who want the "smart" hotel experience, but don't want to be a target? Use long and strong passwords that don't repeat across sites, opt to use a VPN or Virtual Privacy Network when using hotel WiFi, enable two factor authentication on all your devices and make sure to never click on strange links, that may look like they are coming from the hotel, but are actually spoofed, leaving your device infected with malware."
Adam Levin is a consumer advocate with more than 30 years of experience and is a nationally recognized expert on cybersecurity, privacy, identity theft, fraud, and personal finance. A former Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Mr. Levin is Chairman and founder of CyberScout and co-founder of Credit.com. He is the author of Amazon Best Selling Book Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers and Identity Thieves.