Travellers ‘easy targets’ for online financial crime

45% of travellers believe losing money is one of the top three threats they may face abroad: Kaspersky Lab report

According to new research from Kaspersky Lab, consumers – including vacationers and business travellers – conduct a lot of financial operations online when abroad, putting themselves at risk. As we approach the Eid Al Adha break, Kaspersky Lab advices travellers to be wary while making financial transactions online.
The research discovered that 45% of travellers believe losing money is one of the top-three threats they may face abroad, and credit card compromise is considered to be a top-three threat by 35% of users. These concerns are well-founded – the research also highlighted that there is a real danger when it comes to losing money when traveling: 22% of respondents have experienced such a loss, and 8% have had a card compromised whilst in a foreign country.

In contrast, fewer respondents named device infection (11%) or online fraud (20%) as one of their top-three worries whilst traveling. That’s despite the fact that 18% has been a victim of cybercrime when abroad.

It’s not surprising that travelers are becoming victims of cybercrime. 82% connect to public Wi-Fi anywhere when abroad and, using this potentially risky connection which can be intercepted and used by cybercriminals, 61% of consumers bank online and 55% shop online. Without the appropriate protection in place, this behavior is exposing users – and their money – to unnecessary danger, but only 34% of users apply a secure connection (VPN) when connecting to public Wi-Fi, while 18% express that they do nothing at all to stay protected.

“In today’s connected world, we are able to travel easily, for work or pleasure, and stay connected whilst we do. This ability brings with it amazing and exciting opportunities, but also exposes us to dangers if we are not careful. It’s all too easy to connect via potentially insecure Wi-Fi abroad then continue our normal habits of banking and shopping online, without stopping to think about the consequences of what we are doing. As we approach the Eid Al Adha holidays, we urge travellers to be more cyber savvy, think twice about their online activities abroad and put measures in place to protect their money from harm,” says David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

To prevent the loss of money, users should behave safely when they are abroad. They should never lose sight of their credit cards, only connect to the Internet via a secure VPN connection, and use a robust security feature, such as Kaspersky Lab’s Safe Money to protect themselves. Available in Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security, Safe Money allows users to enter financial information and carry out transactions with any bank or e-commerce site in a secure manner.