Relax But Don’t Be Lax Online When You Travel


With the year drawing to a close and the festive season around the corner, many Malaysians are planning their vacations.  Whether you are backpacking through Europe, cruising the Indian Ocean or lying around on a beach in Phuket, heading overseas is a time for Malaysian travelers to relax and unwind leaving their day-to-day concerns behind. It’s this relaxed state of mind which makes chilled-out travelers vulnerable to cyber-attacks. While everyone deserves the chance to relax, they should never be lax when it comes to connecting online whilst travelling.

The Internet has made it easy for us post our photos, videos, and travelogues. It’s so simple to read reviews on places of interest online and download street maps and walking tours to our smartphones. The Internet makes travelling easier, but our growing dependence on the Internet has also made us more vulnerable to cybercrime.

A recent consumer poll conducted by Norton showed that 75 percent of Malaysians do not have a security solution on their mobile devices to protect their personal data  What is more worrying is that 52 percent of those polled admitted to  visiting travel websites and paying for travel-related items without concern for the site’s security. The poll also revealed that 60 percent of Malaysians connect to free Wi-Fi when they are abroad.  Free Wi-Fi services are shared and unsecured which means that Malaysian travelers are putting their online security and personal information at risk.    

Cyber security is not something to be taken lightly, especially when you’re travelling.  Whilst happily posting photos, videos and comments about their travels, many Malaysians tend to forget about the dangers of openly exposing their travel activities on social networks.

To help make sure your travel memories are secure and happy ones, Norton has some tips for travelers to put to good use even before they head off on their next big adventure.

Secure your home devices- ensure that all your home devices are locked and switched off before leaving. Make sure all your home devices, including desktop PCs, laptops and tablets are password protected. If your house is broken into while you’re away, at least you will know that all your personal information is password protected.

Privatise your social life – make sure all your social networking sites have the highest privacy settings while you are travelling, to help avoid any unwanted parties catching wind of the fact that your house is empty or your office is vacant.

Free Wi-Fi isn’t always good Wi-Fi – pay extra attention when connecting any device to a public Wi-Fi, because there are ways for others to access your accounts through shared and unsecured Wi-Fi.

Store your memories in the cloud – don’t forget to continually upload your precious photos to your storage in the cloud because if your camera/smartphone is lost or stolen, so too are your holiday memories.

Sign out before you walk out – remember to log out of everything before exiting an internet café or hotel computer. Extra care is needed with shared computers.

Change the locks – change the passwords for any sites or services that you used while you were travelling. Choose strong new passwords to help keep your accounts safe.

If you are about to set off on an adventure, consider protecting your stuff with the Norton’s latest solution. Norton 360 Multi-Device offers protection for up to 5 devices be it your smartphone, tablet, Mac or PC.  It combines powerful PC, Mac and mobile device protection into a single, straightforward solution, so you can safely surf, shop, share, and socialize online, no matter which device you use.  With five patented layers of protection, stronger social networking defenses, anti-scam capabilities and improved cloud-enabled features, Norton 360 Multi-Device ensures you’re well protected wherever you are .

With a little bit of caution and up-to-date security solutions, travelers can relax knowing they have protected themselves from cybercrime and have the carefree travelling experience they deserve. 

By Effendy Ibrahim, Norton Internet Safety Advocate

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