TAMPA, Fla. — There are 58,000 reasons to not pay attention while just walking around.
“All of us have cell phones,” says Roger Benton, a traveler who just landed at the Tampa International Airport for a week-long vacation. "We all, of course, are hooked on electronics.”
Benton knows that’s true. So do hackers.
“This is my seven-second hack," said Shane Cowper, a cybersecurity engineer with Abacode.
He says if you aren't alert, you are at risk.
In just seconds, when we weren't protecting our property, he had total control of the computer, simply by plugging in a USB.
"When you come back to your computer, it looks like nothing happened,” says Cowper.
But something big did happen.
The private information - it's now his to do with whatever he wants.
“If I'm feeling curious of when you're going to leave your laptop alone, open this browser and there you are," Cowper said. "That's that webcam right there. And I can do pretty much anything I want to."
That's right, everything on your computer is now in his control. He can do whatever he wants. He can now delete everything.
“I just wiped it I stole it then deleted it all,” says Cowper.
We store more of our life on our devices than we do on our cars. Yet, we take great effort to protect our ride, not our devices.
"Don't ever leave your computer unattended and don't ever trust anyone to plug in any devices into your computer,” says Cowper.
But it's not just the threats you can see. Those you can't see can steal everything from you just as quick.
A report out from Coronet, another cybersecurity company, ranked vulnerable airports in the country when it comes to putting your information at risk. While Tampa’s airport made it in the top 10 of least vulnerable—many of its connections and destinations landed on the list of most vulnerable.
“The more you travel, the higher the incidents of your credit cards being stolen,” says Rolando Torres, COO of Abacode. "If you're going to connect to WiFi, maybe you can use your personal hotspot."
But if you can't, you are now at least informed.
"If you're aware, make the right decisions,” says Torres.
We aren’t giving up our devices or convenience. So what to do?
Our cyber expert says you can always do 3 things:
- When you charge your device at any time, only use your own cord. Never connect to a cord that’s already there.
- Hackers troll open WiFi all the time looking for their next target. Only join password protected trusted signals.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication.
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