It’s strange isn’t it how quickly time moves on?
Remember the good old days of arriving at your holiday destination and carefully selecting postcards for your nearest and dearest?
And then sitting in a sunny spot balancing the card on your knee while you tried to squeeze your very best writing into that tiny space?
But now, modern technology has completely transformed how we share our holiday experiences with those back at home.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – it just seems to be the “done thing” to post pictures and thoughts while we’re away, even though it would be better to enjoy the experience rather than obsessing about updating your social media accounts!
I’m as guilty as anyone, but all this “over sharing” can actually put you at risk.
Unsuspecting travellers have been the target of a new cyber scam which hackers have been using to steal holidaymakers’ personal information.
So many people fall into the trap of using a wi-fi hotspot that’s not password-protected – maybe you’re spending a lazy afternoon at a pavement café or you’ve arrived at the airport and want to let your family know….but it pays to think twice.
Generally the risky hotspots are set up in heavily trafficked areas like hotel lobbies, airports, in tourist areas and in coffee shops.
And once you’ve logged onto the hotspot, the hackers can get at your private information including private photographs and videos, bank account details, and credit card numbers – in fact everything you wouldn’t want them to be able to access.
So if you find yourself using an unfamiliar wi-fi connection, don’t mention usernames, passwords or account numbers in emails or messages. Don’t take the opportunity to do a spot of online banking or shopping, and turn off the file sharing link on your mobile phone.
And remember too, it’s not just your online information that’s at risk here – your home insurance provider can refuse to pay out if your house is burgled while you’re away if they believe you’ve been posting information on social media that makes it obvious your property is unoccupied.
The best approach is to look up from your mobile phone once in a while, enjoy your holiday by making the most of your precious family time, and save your photos until you get home before you post them online.
It’s the equivalent of inviting the neighbours round for a “fun” evening looking at your holiday slides…now I’m really showing my age!