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Resist the temptation to instantly post that scenic beach view to social media the next time you go on vacation. Not only will you enjoy yourself more, you might avoid having your personal information stolen.

A study from cybersecurity company McAfee found that 81 percent of people who didn’t use their devices during vacation said they had a better stay. And since only 49 percent check whether or not their connection is secure, they might want to consider leaving their phone in their hotel room to avoid the risk entirely.

Over half (52 percent) of U.S. respondents say they spend at least an hour a day using Wi-Fi-connected devices to check email, text and post to social media while on vacation.

“Our devices are extensions of ourselves that we rely on for more tasks every day,” says Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. “By taking basic security precautions and avoiding unnecessary risks, consumers can better protect personal information making their vacation more enjoyable knowing they are connecting with confidence.”

The majority (58 percent) of those surveyed claim they know how to check the Wi-Fi security, while 23 percent don’t check at all, and 32 percent say they determine how important it is to connect to unsecure Wi-Fi.

Public Wi-Fi traps

Access to WiFi is necessary today, especially since 81 percent of adults in the U.S. have a smartphone and use it over an hour and a half per day to consume media alone. People spend almost 9 hours a day on their phones and laptops.

With more and more businesses offering free Wi-Fi, people are increasingly accessing unsecured Wi-Fi. Logging on to these networks without a password requirement is dangerous, according to identity theft protection company Identity Guard.

When a Wi-Fi network is open, identity thieves use what’s called sniffer software to monitor traffic from devices to the unsecure network. They then capture login information from websites and apps used by people connected to the network.

Hackers also perform a technique called “side-jacking,” where they clone your information while logged into your account on a website. Cyber thieves are able to perform any task that you can, while logged into that site on an open Wi-Fi connection.

Identity theft is a growing concern

Not only is cyber security plaguing us now, it’s actually growing. Most businesses aren’t doing much to protect themselves, but identity thieves aren’t just looking for big hits on large business, they’re targeting everyone.

Almost three quarters of Americans feel only wealthy people are targets for identity thieves, and they couldn’t be more wrong. People earning less than $50,000 yearly think they’re safe and half feel that their credit scores aren’t appealing enough to hackers. In reality, identity thieves will go after anyone with a Social Security number.

Identity theft has become such a problem in the United States that experts say it is as expected in life as birth and death. Still, if we were faced with identity theft, most of us wouldn’t know what to do about it.

“We’ve reached an extreme level of cyber crime where identity theft has become the third certainty in life,” says Adam Levin, founder and chairman of ID theft services company CyberScout.

If and when the situation occurs,Levin says: “Victims of identity theft should turn to organizations they trust, including their insurance provider, financial services institution, or the HR department of their employer, who offer low-cost or free cyber protection services to protect and restore stolen identities.”

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Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Associate editor

Pye is the associate editor of


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Article last modified on October 17, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Wi-Fi Warning: Unplug While on Vacation - AMP.