Looking for cheap flights and holiday deals? How to protect yourself online
Make sure your holiday dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare (Picture: Getty)

It’s the middle of January and life on these islands is pretty miserable just now.

So it’s little wonder that sun-starved Brits are trying to give themselves something to look forward to.

Today is predicted to be the busiest day of the year for online travel agents, who call it Sunshine Saturday.

Thomson and First Choice are expecting one million customers to visit stories and websites, whilst Thomas Cook is also bracing itself for brisk business.

But whilst you’re dreaming of sunshine, you need to be aware of the threats lurking in the dark corners of the internet.

Hackers are always looking for ways to scam innocent people – and Sunshine Saturday is a great opportunity for them to strike.

Prince Harry whisks Meghan Markle off to the French Riviera for a romantic New Year break
Wish you were here? (Credit: Getty)

Alan Levine, Cyber Security Advisor to Wombat Security Technologies, told Metro.co.uk: ‘Arranging travel online can be fast, efficient, but potentially dangerous.

‘Cyber criminals are experts at schemes which can tilt online transactions in their favour.’

He offered the following advice to holidaymakers:

  • If you learned about the holiday through an email offer, verify the sender and content of the email to confirm legitimacy.
  • Did you find the offer while searching the Internet? Sometimes, your first search results may have been placed there by the bad guys so double check that you’re on a legitimate website.
  • Are you getting redirected to another website? Ask yourself why you’ve been sent to a site you didn’t specifically request – does the new website feel right?
  • Keep your eyes peeled for spelling, formatting, and other basic errors that may indicate a less-than-professional site, and confirm the site’s security level by looking for an “https” in the address bar.
  • Visit a known, trusted website rather than clicking through a social ad or a shared link.
  • Before you complete your transaction, confirm it outside of the website by calling the provider directly.
  • Pay with a credit card – NOT by bank transfer – even if you’re offered a ‘discount’.
  • If a flight or hotel offer seems too good to be true, it likely isn’t true – make sure that you carefully vet any offers prior to booking.
  • Simple precautions can mean the difference between a great holiday and losing a lot of your valuable savings.