It’s easy to get swept away by the excitement of going on holiday, but before you jet off there are some important things you must consider.
Read our top travelling tips to protect yourself while enjoying your holiday.
Use public Wi-Fi safely
Today, public Wi-Fi is just about anywhere. From cafes to hotels and airports, Wi-Fi has certainly made travelling a lot easier, but it also poses security risks such as phishing. Phishing is when someone attempts to take sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons. It’s also best not to do banking or access sensitive accounts on a public network.
There are two kinds of public Wi-Fi networks: secured and unsecured.
An unsecured network can be connected to within range and without any type of security feature like a password or login. A secured network requires the user to agree to legal terms, register an account, or type in a password before connecting to the network. It may also require a fee or purchase to gain access to the password or network. Even so, you should always use public Wi-Fi with caution.
Ensure you connect to a secure public network whenever possible, but if you’re unable to, confirm the connection requires some sort of login or registration.
Don't access personal bank accounts, or sensitive personal data, or shop online on unsecured public networks. Even secured networks can be risky. Use your best judgment if you must access these accounts on public Wi-Fi.
Withdraw money safely
When using ATMs overseas, be cautious of your surroundings and use common sense.
- If an ATM is obstructed from view or poorly lit, choose another location
- Shield the screen and keyboard to safeguard your PIN and transaction amount
- Put your card, cash and receipt away immediately. Count your money later
- To help guard against fraud, always keep your ATM receipts until you check them against your monthly statement
- Keep your card in a safe place to avoid damage or theft
- Memorise your PIN number - never write your PIN down on anything in your wallet or on the card
- If you see anything or anyone suspicious, cancel your transaction immediately, or if anyone follows you after making a transaction, go to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police
- Immediately report a lost or stolen card to your financial institution
Be on the lookout for travel scams
Scammers prey on people looking for a holiday deal. According to SCAMwatch , in 2017, Australians lost nearly $75,000 to travel scams.
Always research the offer and be wary of any travel ‘prizes’. At best you’ll find out a bogus hotel, resort, or event doesn’t exist. At worst, you’ll hand over enough personal information that your bank accounts get cleaned out or your identity is stolen.
Travel insurance scams are also common, so make sure you research the provider first. Read more about travel scams on scamwatch.gov.au
Protect your devices
If you’re taking any devices on holiday, make sure they are password protected, preferably with two-factor authentication. You can also enable location tracking in the event the device is lost or stolen. Read more about strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
Don't leave your laptop, tablet, or smartphone unattended in a public place and ensure you monitor your Bluetooth connectivity. Leaving Bluetooth on while in public places can pose a huge risk to your cybersecurity. Bluetooth connectivity allows various devices to communicate with each other, and a hacker can look for open Bluetooth signals to gain access to your devices. Turn Bluetooth off when you leave your home, office, or similar secured area.
Notify us of your travels
Inform us you are travelling and keep an eye on your accounts for fraudulent transactions. The sooner you notice a fraudulent transaction and report it to us, the sooner we can stop the scammer and issue you a new card or account.
It is therefore extremely important that you:
- Ensure your contact details are up-to-date: this will guarantee that we can contact you to validate transaction activity on your account
- Advise us if you are travelling overseas: this will certify that we know you are overseas and that transactions are legitimate based on your advised travel plans (departure/return dates, countries visited, etc.)
- To update your contact details, advise overseas travel plans or simply request more information about our fraud monitoring system call:
Our Customer Care team is available between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday except on public holidays, and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturday.