Defending yourself against Internet Crime during World Cup 2010

Thousands of ticket holders journeying to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup are expected to take their laptops with them when they travel, according to consumer site Broadband Expert.

Fans, however, should be warned as reports claim internet crime is expected to soar during the event and robbery will increase along with the festivities as fans turn to the bars in order to celebrate (or commiserate).

Rob Webber of mobile broadband comparison site Broadband Expert agrees that internet access is useful when abroad, but believes laptops should be left at home if possible.

“There is no doubt a laptop makes you a target for theft when in a foreign country, but if you simply cannot do without it, then there are things you can do to help protect yourself.”

Rob’s advice is to:

  • Keep your laptop in your backpack or suitcase rather than a laptop case when you travel from the airport to your hotel. This is especially important at bus and railway stations where theft and muggings are particularly commonplace.
  • Never use internet devices in public when in South Africa. Whereby it is commonplace in the UK to see people working on laptops the same cannot be said for this region where only 8% of the population has the means to access the internet as opposed to 76% in the UK. A laptop visible on a pub table may be irresistible to a would-be criminal.
  • Thieves will be rampaging hotel rooms as soon as the ref’s whistle has blown, so secure your laptop with a locking device, but out of view when you leave it behind in your room.
  • Fake websites – or phishing sites – carrying ‘FIFA World Cup 2010’ branding are on the increase as the big event draws closer. Only buy online if you are sure of the site’s authenticity. Consider downloading ‘site safety’ software, which color codes the sites listed in Google according to their reputation, and helps you make a more informed choice before making any purchases online.
  • It has so far been reported that hackers have intercepted and sent personalized spam emails from ESPN Soccernet, African Safari organizer Greenlife and FIFA World Cup 2010 addresses. Unless you are absolutely sure about the source of the email, do not click on any links – regardless how authentic, pressing or desirable they seem – as this may allow the hackers to steal and use your personal and confidential information.

Be safe.

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