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Friday, May 27, 2022

Blog topics:  Archive

By Chetrice Mosley-Romero

Whether your Memorial Day weekend plans include a vacation or staycation, or you’re one of the more than 300,000 race fans who’ll be “Back Home Again in Indiana” on Sunday for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, or you’re one of the 39.2 million Americans who’ll be going somewhere in the next two or three days, you’re going to discover, cyber criminals are already heading out to wherever it is you’re going.

And just as we spend all kinds of time getting ready to make sure we’re able to relax, cyber criminals are working overtime to do whatever they can to try and use a variety of online scams to leave us stranded.

TODAY is National Road Trip Day. It’s the unofficial start to summer; school’s out and now, the biggest decision we want to have to make (especially if we’re on vacation) is being able to answer the question, “we’re not setting the alarm, right?”, or if we’re headed to the track, “who’s got the tickets?”.

For starters, whether you’ve made your reservations already or, maybe, you did your research when you booked your stay, there are some travel-related scams that the Federal Trade Commission says you’ll want to avoid (or may have noticed) along with some of the “red flags” to look for, including:

  • Getting a “free” vacation that you have to pay for.
  • Not receiving any specific details about the travel offer.
  • Being told that the ONLY way to pay for your vacation rental is by wire transfergift card, or cryptocurrency.
  • Being pressured to make a quick decision about a vacation package or rental.
  • Being wary of deals featuring premium vacation properties advertised for “super cheap” prices.

Of course, just as you’ve packed your bags with an outfit for, seemingly, all of the activities you’re planning to do, you won’t want to leave home without first making sure that you’ve securely packed away your data and tuned up your mobile devices to handle whatever scams a cybercriminal might try to use to get in the way of your good times. offers a just-released article entitled, “Cybersecurity Tips for a Safer Vacation” featuring a complete guide with lots of cyber-safe steps you’ll want to follow before you hit the road, including:

  • Using secure passwords, proper password safety and multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • Using a credit card (versus a debit card) when making online purchases.
  • Leaving your data at home. Take only the devices you need and leave the rest at home.
  • Keeping up with software updates.
  • Reviewing and limiting app permissions.
  • Disabling automatic connections.
  • Protecting yourself from prying eyes. Get yourself a privacy screen for your phone and computer and set up and test virtual private network (VPN) connectivity.

Once you’ve arrived, whether you’re at a hotel, resort, restaurant, or bar, or even the stadium or a racetrack, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings. This is especially true when you’re using your credit card to make a payment. Keep an eye out for any onlookers or “shoulder surfers”, who’ll try – especially in a crowded place, such as a concession or souvenir stand – to try and steal your account information, such as a PIN number or password.

One other cyber tip to keep in mind, especially if you’re headed to the Indy 500, or any other sporting event, is to make sure if you’re needing to buy a ticket or even a parking pass, be sure to check out this recent article about the tips to keep in mind for purchasing tickets online from the National Association of Ticket Brokers and the Better Business Bureau, including:

  • Purchasing tickets directly from the venue whenever possible
  • Not clicking (to make a purchase) from emails or online ads
  • Considering your source (professional ticket brokers vs. individual sellers or scammers selling fake tickets)
  • Knowing the refund policy
  • Using only payment methods that come with protection
  • Verifying your tickets at the venue’s ticket office if you’re unsure.
  • Reporting a scam to the BBB’s Scam Tracker at: and the FTC at:

Whatever your plans are, following these cybersecurity tips will help in making sure you’re as safe physically as you are online and visit our Indiana Cyber Hub website at: for more best practices, resources, and tips.