Holidaymakers have been warned to be more security-conscious after a survey found more than half were in danger of losing vital personal and work data on their travels.
The survey conducted by leading European hostel chain Generator Hostels among its 480,000 annual visitors found that the majority were exposed to the risk of having sensitive information stolen or hacked because they were accessing unsecured wireless internet connections to get online while travelling.
Fifty four per cent of travellers said they stored work documents on their laptops, while half carry personal data, because they were worried about leaving their computers at home. However, they were still at risk of having this sensitive information stolen because they were accessing unsecured wireless internet connections to get online while away.
One third of travellers now regard a laptop as their top travel essential as it is a cheap way to stay in touch with friends and family at home. Yet surprisingly, in spite of storing everything from electronic credit card statements to bank passwords on their computers, 65 per cent of travellers would be more upset if they lost their passport during a trip.
Eric Van Dijk, managing director at Generator Hostels, said; “The survey has presented some worrying statistics. Travellers need to be more aware of the potential data security breaches they risk by logging onto unsecure networks while travelling. We suggest travellers think twice and only use secure networks based in their accommodation or at recommended local Internet cafes.”
“While we don’t suggest you should let work spoil your holiday, we wouldn’t want any of our guests getting into hot water with their boss by having to tell them they’ve lost corporate data at the end of a trip.”