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February 6, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:04am

How not to get hacked at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

6 top tips to keep your data protected.

By Duncan Macrae

With the Winter Olympics kicking off in Sochi, Russia, this week, the US State Department has warned that visitors should be cautious of hacking attacks and ‘have no expectation of privacy, even in their hotel rooms’.

Former ethical hacker and VP at SafeNet, Jason Hart, says it is no supririse such a warning has been issued.

He notes: "Russia is one of the hacker capitals of the world, so those planning on attending the games, should ensure they are taking extra security precautions."

For those concerned about falling foul to a hacking attack during the Winter Olympics, SafeNet offers the following six tips to help visitors reduce the risk of being hacked and leave them free to watch the games, worry-free:

1. Disable Wi-Fi.

2. Disable Bluetooth.

3. Create a new web-based email account for your visit to Russia and only use this for the duration of your visit. But be sure not to send any important emails.

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4. Create a web identity just for the Games and do not link it to you existing day-to-day identities. 

5. If you need to look at online content, use an internet café, not your personal device. However, make sure that you don’t access any sensitive information such as usual email or bank accounts.

6. Perhaps the most important tip – ensure that the new identity cannot be linked back to your real identity.

Hart adds: "Many visitors will have already arrived and turned straight to their mobiles, laptops or tablets at baggage claim. It’s likely that these people will have already lost the integrity of their electronic devices and their contents.

"So, those planning to travel to Russia for the games need to ensure that they are arriving with the mind-set that it’s not a matter of ‘if’ they will be hacked but ‘when’. Therefore, anyone connecting a device to a public Wi-Fi spot without taking the necessary safety precautions, should be wary of the fact that they could be opening the doors to a hacker."




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