Going on holidays is meant to be a fun time to get away from the worries of every day life. But it's also a time when people let their guard down and are susceptible to getting scammed. Here are some tips to book a safer holiday.
In the quest to save a few bucks, people turn to unfamiliar websites that make great offers only to find the bookings they thought they had made don't actually exist. Some recent research from McAfee found that the top 5 most dangerous holiday destinations people search for are:
- New Delhi, India
- Bangkok, Thailand
- London, England
- Phuket, Thailand
- Manila, Philippines
When booking for any locale, but particularly those above, only book through reputable agencies. McAfee found that almost one in five Aussies have been scammed or have been close to being scammed when booking a holiday online. That's because their bargain hunting makes them more likely to use a website they are unfamiliar with.
The most common ways Aussies have been scammed is through seeing a great offer which turned out to be a scam (32%) and by being redirected by the property owner/manager on a trusted website and scammed into paying money directly too them which was then lost (31%).
Over a quarter of holiday scam victims said they only realised the site or reservation method they used was fraudulent, when they turned up to their holiday rental to find the booking wasn’t actually valid.
While you're away, play it safe and don't trust open Wi-Fi hotspots. Always use VPN software and never use a shared computer or internet cafe for anything where security is important. While searching for local attractions is fine, avoid online banking of making online payments.
Most phone carriers offer low-cost daily roaming plans - use your smartphone for anything requiring extra security.
If there's one basic, essential security feature that you should be using whenever you're online - it's a VPN. In 2017, we rounded up the best five but as our desire for increased privacy and unrestricted access on the internet grows, so do the amount of providers. It can be hard to sift through them all to find what the service you're looking for.
So we've taken a look at the best VPNs for Australians over the year and for the upcoming year.