For the estimated 1 million people expected to attend this year’s World Cup, the U.S. government has a message: Be careful with your personal devices.
“Anyone traveling to Russia to attend the World Cup should be clear-eyed about the cyber risks involved,” William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, told ABC News in a statement. “If you’re planning on taking a mobile phone, laptop, PDA, or other electronic device with you — make no mistake — any data on those devices (especially your personally identifiable information) may be accessed by the Russian government or cyber criminals.”
The National Counterintelligence and Security Center offered some tips on being better prepared, including that if you don’t need your device, don’t take it and risk it being attacked. Experts also said not to take any sensitive information overseas and to back up data at home before leaving.
“Corporate and government officials are most at risk, but don’t assume you’re too insignificant to be targeted,” Evanina said. “If you can do without the device, don’t take it. If you must take one, take a different device from your usual one and remove the battery when not in use.”
While at the World Cup, officials said it’s best to avoid using thumbnail drives given to you and public Wi-Fi spots.
The month-long soccer tournament takes place all over Russia, at 12 stadiums in 11 cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.
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