News & Resources

Statistics show business travelers at high risk for ID theft

Dec 29, 2011 Karen Umpierre

Identity theft accounted for 19 percent of the 1.3 million complaints sent to the online law enforcement database Consumer Sentinel Network, USA Today reports. Business travelers put themselves at even more risk, because they rely on electronic devices more often. According to data protection company Credant Technologies, travelers lost approximately 11,000 mobile devices at airports this year - 37.5 percent laptops and 37.2 percent tablets or smartphones, the media outlet notes. Furthermore, travelers shouldn't assume that they're safe just because they've reached their destination and are in a hotel. The news source cites data from online security research arm SpriderLabs, which found that in a study of 200 data breach cases, 38 percent occurred in hotels or resorts. The main culprit? Most airports, hotels and other public venues accessed during travel contain unsecured wireless networks, where the infiltration of ID authentication can be easily performed by nearby hackers. Taking safety into one's own hands is paramount. The San Francisco Chronicle suggests business travelers don't perform sensitive transactions over public Wi-Fi, or that they purchase a less expensive computer with a limited amount of data specifically for travel.