Hotel and Internet Cafe Computers Dangers

Be very careful what you do when using computers in Hotel and Internet cafes. Only use them for finding information.

Hotel guest computer photo

If you log on to any system via the internet, using a password and username you risk that system being hi-jacked by identity thieves. This also includes your e-mail, Facebook and Twitter accounts. You are also at risk of loosing a lot of money.

Unlike your own computer, which is hopefully protected by an internet security and anti-virus system like Kaspersky or Nortons, many computers designed for public use are not fully protected. They can harbour some nasty surprises like a key logger program that records your user name, password and the website you are using them on.

My friend went to Bangkok on business. She is computer literate and aware of the possible dangers of typing her credit card details onto order form pages on public computers. She wanted to keep in touch with her family back in the UK so logged onto Skytype, the free internet video communications system, to tell them what time she would be landing back in the UK.

You only have to pay for phone calls to landlines not for voice or video calls between computers linked to the internet. She already had an account so only had to log in and did not have to provide any credit card details again.

She was shocked to find a bill for £240 on her credit card when she got home. Over 2,000 land line calls were made from her Skytype account between the time she left the hotel and arrived back home.

The identity thief had hacked into her Skytype account using her password and username. He had then sold international calls to local Thai people at a discounted rate from a small roadside stall and made a nice little profit.

When you open an account many, companies you use on the Internet keep your credit card details. If an identity thief can obtain your login password and username they can then order goods and services until your credit or debit card maxes out.

I am not referring to dodgy companies. Big players like Amazon, e-bay and Paypal have your card details. If you log onto these websites on a public computer your risk thieves raiding your credit and bank account because they have recorded what keys on the keyboard you pushed when your logged on.

Free Wifi in Hotels!

Many hotels still charge high prices to use Wi-Fi. A few do offer free Wi-Fi and use this fact as a marketing tool. It is a shame they all do not do the same. Some hotels offer free Wi-Fi in the lobby or coffee shop. Be crafty and ask for a room near this location.

The free Wi-Fi may extend far enough to be usable in your room. If you cannot find a free hotspot in the hotel you are staying at ask for the location of the nearest coffee shop or bar with free Wi-Fi. Take your custom to that location. It is so much cheaper than the extortionate hotel Wi-Fi prices.

When you have finished your work on the Internet go back to your hotel and ask to speak with the manager. Point out to the manager that because of their companies' silly policy of charging for Wi-Fi You were forced to go elsewhere.

This meant that they lost out on earning income as you purchased drinks and food outside the hotel. If the hotel offered free Wi-Fi You may have spent that money at the hotel's cafe, bar or restaurant instead. If you have the time send a letter or email to their head office.

If you were a potential hotel customer and had to choose between two similar hotels and one offered free Wi-Fi which one would you choose. Some hotels get this and others don't.