Irish holidaymakers expose themselves to dangers

One third of the Irish enjoy holiday gloating while another third prefer secret holiday destinations

With the holiday season nearly over we wanted to know how much of their holiday plans or activities do Irish reveal on social media. This security issue goes beyond announcing your house will be empty in a certain period and inviting burglary this way. Lately cybercriminals often contact social media friends of their target with some sort of financial scam that involves the holiday destination.

Urban Schrott, ESET Ireland’s cybercrime analyst comments: “Say someone posted on his Facebook profile that they’re looking forward to their holiday in Lanzarote. Well, cybercriminals often check for such info on visible Facebook accounts and then they can easily fake an email seemingly from them and target some of their friends saying something like ‘I was mugged in Lanzarote, please send me €500 to sort things out and get home,’ with a request to transfer funds through untraceable Western Union. Scams like this appear credible, and are occurring all the time. With the location of the holiday made known, many people fall for it and send ‘friend in distress’ money, then are shocked to find the friend was never mugged and knows nothing about it.”

Now ESET Ireland asked Irish computer users how much info they reveal on social media. One third of Irish adult internet users never post their travel plans on a social media website. Just under 1 in 10 always post, while another 1 in 10 only allow certain friends to see the information. If we say the worst security offenders are those that tell all, well, there’s only about 9% of those. But add to that another 13% that sometimes post, and 8% that only tell some friends, then nearly a third does reveal some info, therefore putting themselves and their friends at risk.

The full results of the survey are as follows:

Another interesting detail is that 11% of Irish males but only 7% of Irish females post before travelling, while only 9% of males and 16% of females post after they’ve returned home. And the people of Leinster, who scored highest in never posting and lowest in always posting of all regions, seem to be wisest in telling everyone it’s nobody’s business where they spend their holidays.

ESET Ireland recommends you behave safely online and try to filter information you disclose about yourselves so the chance of them being abused in any way is minimised.

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