Travel Hosts Exposed, Week of May 25

Join the Ghost Adventure gang as they head off to Portland, and see how the maids got Bert back for his pranks. All this and more in this week's Hosts Exposed.

Photos

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  

"The Malecon, Havana" - Anthony Bourdain 960 1280

  

"What will the maid think?" - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"What will the maid think?" - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"Lani shaving my back" - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"It's not the outfit, it's how you rock the outfit" - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"Why all the akward stares? I'm just going to the ice machine" - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"Nothing like a starbucks on a vegas sunny day. Ok anywhere starbucks is good. Its Just better when ur home" - Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

- Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

"The lady v neck tees r up girls. 100% cotton & 100% big steppin :) Www.agoodwincollections.com" - Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

"Check out the new death TRON painting @adamwmichaels did for me. So cool. 3 peaces done now." - Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

"Phenomenal day of shooting with @bertkreischer! Stay tuned for our great episode of Bert the Conqueror!" - Adam Richman 960 1280

  

"Final product at Scotchies" - Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

"Hogs on pimento logs. Sweet wood charcoal below." - Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

"Chickens on the logs at Scotchies" - Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

In ' Unplugging
Enjoy life and live in the moment instead of toting around your hand-held device or laptop. Unplug and immerse yourself in a new culture and destination. Siberia, here we come!

Out ' Internet Access/Wi-Fi
Don't be a geek. Checking Facebook, Foursquare and tweeting on your Smartphone is so old-school. Travel isn't an anti-social hobby.
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In ' Pat-down
Underwear bombing is all the rage, which means we all get a free grope on the way to Grandma's house. What's that? You don't want the TSA creeper touching you? Step into the body scanner to the right, also known as the free peep show starring you.

Out ' Shoe scan
Who hides explosives in shoes anymore?
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Reuters  

In ' Harry Potter
Screaming into Orlando like Harry on the back of Buckbeak the hippogriff, Universal has launched its most exciting theme park in years, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Out ' Disney's MGM
Unfortunately, MGM is showing its age.
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Image by veritasnoctis through Creative Commons License  

In ' Ground Zero Memorial
The New Year will be big for New York when the memorial at Ground Zero opens to the public on Sept. 11, 2011.

Out ' Sleeping on Matresses
With the increase in bedbug infestations in NYC, where can tourists sleep without fear? Travelers can prepare in advance by checking hotel reviews online, using luggage liners, looking behind headboards and keeping luggage or clothes off the floor.
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Reuters  

In ' England
Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton have made England a hot destination after setting a date for their wedding day, on April 29, 2011.

Out ' Sweden
Sorry, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, marrying your fitness trainer in 2010 is so, well, 2010.
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Reuters  

In ' Vanuatu
With 83 islands featuring roaring waterfalls, tropical beaches and remote villages, Vanuatu is bursting with eco-friendly excursions.

Out ' Riviera Maya
Only 20 years ago, you could sneak into the remote, dusty Mayan ruin and crash next door in a $5-a-night beach hut. Not anymore. Cancun has officially jumped the shark.
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In ' Dance
Everyone's a dancer, even Bristol Palin! Visit Argentina for traditional tango lessons or go on a themed cruise, where dance competitions are increasingly popular.

Out ' Wine
Dissing Merlot while singing the praises of Pinot Noir on a California wine tour is so 2004.
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In ' Bike-sharing
Bike-sharing really took off in Paris in 2007 with 20,000 bicycles distributed across 1,450 stations. Since then, networks have launched in Portland, OR, Washington, DC, and Montreal, Canada.

Out ' Segway
The Segway is out after the company's owner was killed when he accidentally drove one off a cliff last year.
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In ' Alaska
The Palins were all over TV in 2010. Bristol made the top 3 on Dancing with the Stars, and Sarah Palin's Alaska was a hit, too.

Out ' Hawaii
Meanwhile, the November elections were not kind to the Democrats. Sorry, Hawaii.
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Reuters and iStockphoto  

In ' Fakecation
If you can work from home, why not work from Egypt instead? Any exotic location will do. Worldwide Wi-Fi and mobile coverage is expanding exponentially each year, and with Skype, there's no reason to pay for long-distance calls.

Out ' Staycation
You no longer have an excuse to stay at home when you can travel the world without ever using a vacation day.
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