A new investigation reveals how easy it is for hackers to steal digital data from holiday-makers logging into hotel Wi-Fi. Picture: NBC/Today
A new investigation reveals how easy it is for hackers to steal digital data from holiday-makers logging into hotel Wi-Fi. Picture: NBC/Today

Think twice about logging into hotel Wi-Fi

A scary new report reveals how holiday hackers can steal your personal data using fake hotel Wi-Fi.

A special investigation by the Today show in the United States revealed just how easy it is for cyber crooks to jump into your phone and steal your credit card information as you lounge around a pool and soak up the sun.

Investigative journalist Jeff Rossen recruited a security expert to set up fake Wi-Fi hot spots at the Grand Fiesta Americana hotel in Cancun, Mexico, The Sun reports.

The pair duped holiday-makers there by giving their Wi-Fi spots similar names to the official Wi-Fi.

Once the tourists logged on, the hacker could spy on them by seeing their purchases, flight details and banking information.

Investigative reporter Jeff Rossen showed tourists how easy it was for hackers to make off with their personal data. Picture: NBC/Today
Investigative reporter Jeff Rossen showed tourists how easy it was for hackers to make off with their personal data. Picture: NBC/Today

Rossen ran around the resort tracking holiday-makers via their phone before finding them on the beach to warn them.

Stunned tourists were flabbergasted at just how easily they had been fooled.

The reporter even offered them tips on staying safe online while away on holiday.

An easy tip was to logoff public Wi-Fi when making online purchases using your phone.

You can use your mobile phone network to make those transactions - this may be more expensive in phone bills, but will keep you safe from hackers.

Rossen also urged phone users to hit "forget this network" when coming and going from place to place, to avoid auto-logging on to hot spots.

You can also turn off your Wi-Fi's "auto-join" feature.

There are ways holiday-makers can protect their mobile phones, tablets and laptops from getting hacked by cyber crooks.
There are ways holiday-makers can protect their mobile phones, tablets and laptops from getting hacked by cyber crooks.

Finally, Rossen said you could always test the Wi-Fi claiming to be from your hotel by entering the wrong room number when prompted.

If it gives you access, you know it is a scam site that will let anyone in - but if it's legit you will be rejected until you confirm your actual details.

Australian families were warned over the summer holiday period to be careful logging into free Wi-Fi networks that may not be secure.

The mistake can prove costly. Late last year, Austrian police reported that a man had $155,000 worth of the digital currency Bitcoin stolen from him after he logged on to a restaurant's unsecured public Wi-Fi network.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

News Corp Australia

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