Travel Hosts Exposed, Week of March 23

Go skydiving with Tony, food tasting with Andrew, and ghost hunting with the boys.

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Change Passwords

Change Passwords

Kevin Emert, chief information security officer of Scripps Network Interactive (Travel Channel's parent company), especially recommends this step for international travel. Change passwords before you leave and again when you return home for the accounts you know you’ll use while traveling.    960 1280

  

Remove Sensitive Data From Your Devices

Remove Sensitive Data From Your Devices

Before leaving on your trip, Emert advises backing up the devices you’re bringing, and then removing any sensitive data, such as financial statements.   960 1280

Courtney Keating  

Ensure Security on Your Devices is Up to Date

Ensure Security on Your Devices is Up to Date

Check that antivirus, malware and operating systems are up to date with security patches and features, says Emert. Password-protecting your devices is also another layer of security in case they're stolen. 960 1280

P D BURNETT  

Be Vigilant Against Theft

Be Vigilant Against Theft

While it’s important to take precautions against cyber hacking, Emert notes the most common problem while traveling with devices is theft. “Leaving it unattended for a matter of seconds could potentially lead to theft,” he says. Emert also cautions being mindful of those around you, since someone might be watching as you enter passwords.   960 1280

Tim Robberts  

Don’t Use USB Chargers in Public Spaces

Don’t Use USB Chargers in Public Spaces

Emert warns there’s a growing trend of “juice jacking,” where criminals can gain access to information on your device via the USB cable since it contains two wires—one for power, and one for data transfer.

Criminals can also use the USB cable to install ransomware, which allows them to hold your device ransom in exchange for money. Instead of using a USB port, Emert suggests using the AC power brick that plugs into a power outlet.

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serts  

Don’t Trust Public Wi-Fi

Don’t Trust Public Wi-Fi

This includes airports, hotels, trains and public spaces, regardless if the network is free, paid or password-protected. “If you’re on it, so is a would-be criminal,” says Emert. He also strongly cautions against connecting to financial institutions over a Wi-Fi network, particularly when abroad, whether through an app on your device or directly from the institution’s website. “You should assume that someone is probably watching you,” he says.  960 1280

Ezra Bailey  

Use a Personal Hotspot Connection

Use a Personal Hotspot Connection

A personal hotspot is a secure way to connect to the Internet via your wireless carrier's data plan if you lack Wi-Fi access—which is often the case when traveling. “Where a hotspot through a trusted carrier is available, that is a more secure method than choosing a public available wireless network,” says Emert.

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Petar Chernaev  

Turn Off Wireless Features You Don’t Need

Turn Off Wireless Features You Don’t Need

Traveling to a remote location isn't the only reason why you would turn off wireless capabilities. Emert says that services such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are designed to connect to available networks unless you have security features enabled. “Criminals can use those wireless connections to track your movement through an airport.” 960 1280

Jordan Siemens  

Use Your Debit Card as a Credit Card

Use Your Debit Card as a Credit Card

Cyber security also pertains to debit and credit cards. Emert says it’s safer to select the credit card option when making a purchase with a debit card since it requires a signature instead of a PIN number. It’s still debited from your account, but the signature requires a three-day waiting period before charging the purchase, whereas debit is instantaneous. The credit card feature is also insured in case an unauthorized purchase is made, and Emert notes it’s easier to recoup those losses from a credit card company than from your local bank. However, the safest method is a credit card with chip technology combined with your signature.

The exception would be using your debit card at an airport ATM, especially if it’s with a well-known banking institution. “The risk of your information being compromised at that ATM are relatively low.”
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Chronis Jons  

Leave Your Devices (and Non-Essential Personal Identification) at Home

Leave Your Devices (and Non-Essential Personal Identification) at Home

Finally, if you can manage without your laptop, phone or tablet, Emert says the safest place for them is at home. He also advises leaving behind any personal identification you don’t need, such as additional credit cards. Or if you’re traveling abroad, there’s no need to carry a driver’s license in addition to your passport. “When you’re traveling, assume, from a personal identification standpoint … that it’s not a safe environment,” says Emert. 960 1280

JGI/Tom Grill  

Charleston

Charleston

Looking for a warm weather cityscape to enjoy that nice tax refund? Heath south to charming Charleston for mouthwatering cuisine, perfect weather, beautiful beaches and hospitality that can't be beat. 960 1280

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Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park

Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park

Take a trip to a desert oasis with Uncle Sam’s generous refund. A popular resort town, Palm Springs is also a short driving distance from the awe-inspiring natural wonders of Mount San Jacinto State Park and Joshua Tree National Park. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland is the place to be this summer to see incredible displays of nature and to take advantage of the mild weather and the longer days of sunlight. 960 1280

ThinkStock  

Washington, DC's Free Museums

Washington, DC's Free Museums

Make your refund go far and tour Washington, DC's free museums, like the fascinating Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
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Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

New Orleans Jazz Fest

New Orleans Jazz Fest

Feel good about using your tax refund to support the New Orleans economy at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, April 24-May 3, 2015.
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Skip Bolen/WireImage/Getty Images   

Panama

Panama

Shedding its shady reputation of the past, Panama is quickly becoming the next "it" destination that's close and still has amazing beaches.
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ThinkStock  

Montana Dude Ranch

Montana Dude Ranch

Work off the stress of doing your taxes by unleashing your inner cowboy or cowgirl. Take a break from your cubicle, and stay on a dude ranch in Montana. 960 1280

Urbancow/E+/Getty Images  

Ireland

Ireland

Spring is the best time to visit Ireland, and you won't break the bank with the cheapest hotels in Western Europe and the short flight from the East Coast.
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Marco Regalia/iStock/Getty Images  

Alaska Whale Watching

Alaska Whale Watching

Avoid the crowds and take advantage of lower prices by booking an Alaska cruise for May or June. This is also a great time to see the humpback whales. 960 1280

Michael Sewell/Photolibrary/Getty Images  

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is almost always the cheapest destination in the Caribbean. A family of 4 can stay for a bargain price, and a little taste of sunshine will carry you over to summer. 960 1280

Slow Images/Getty Images  

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

The tulips in bloom in the Dutch countryside (an easy daytrip from Amsterdam) make spring in Holland the most colorful time of year.
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Mark Lewis/ Aurora Photos  

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Feeling lucky this year? Try to double your tax refund at the casinos in Vegas.
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Stuart Dee/Getty Images  

"Josh Homme scoring our upcoming desert episode of NoRes" - Anthony Bourdain 960 1280

  

"Morning in the desert." - Anthony Bourdain 960 1280

  

"Getting ready to hit the road." - Anthony Bourdain 960 1280

  

"ZPZ graphic master Adam Lupsha with "Tito", my tarantula sidekick." - Anthony Bourdain 960 1280

  

"NEW #WhatWillTheMaidThink" - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"Oh yeah, I'm on the @RachaelRayShow show today and I'm bringing the thunder!" - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"Help #WhatWillTheMaidThink" - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"how about #WhatWillTheProfessorThink." - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali...America the Edible book signing 4/27 @ 7pm @ The Grove Barnes&Noble! See you there!" - Adam Richman 960 1280

  

"After a good road trip with me, myself, & i. its good to be home with my dvr." - Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

"Bumble bee #bigsteppin" - Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

"Wanna enter my dungeon? Cmon I'll show ya whats carved in the walls." - Zak Bagans 960 1280

  

- Zak Bagans 960 1280

  

"My wifes insane lemon curd marshmallow cake." - Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

"Rishia baking Bunny cakes, Noah snacking." - Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

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