Why you need to be careful when searching holiday destinations on Google

When planning a holiday, the first thing you do is probably put a destination into Google and let the search engine work its magic, finding you somewhere to stay and things to do.

But according to a computer security software company, you'll need to vigilant when you do this, especially when it comes to choosing the site where you book your holiday.

Experts at McAfee have revealed new data which shows how cybercriminals can take advantage of your Google searches and cause you to fall victim to a scam.

A study of 2,000 Brits found that one in five unsuspecting holidaymakers had been tricked and lost money through harmful links and fake websites, when attempting to plan a trip.

Shockingly researchers found that 31 percent of those asked would use an unfamiliar website to book a holiday if it offered the best deal, instead of opting for a trusted and validated site.

McAfee chief scientist, Raj Samani said: "We strongly advise people to validate deals, holiday rentals and flights directly via trusted websites instead of clicking links and pop-ups offering bargains.

"Once they've validated its authenticity, all communication and payment should be conducted via that trusted platform to help keep personal and financial information out of hackers' hands."

Those concerned about being scammed might also be interested to know that the researchers found there are five specific words (or rather five places) that have a particularly high risk of bringing up fake websites.

The top five most holiday destinations are:

1. Malaga

2. Florida

3. Peyia

4. Lagos

5. Marbella

McAfee conducted research into the riskiest holiday destinations, using McAfee WebAdvisor site ratings to determine the number of risky websites generated by searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo!, that included a top holiday destination and search terms likely to yield potentially malicious websites in the results.

An overall risk percentage was calculated for each destination using the total number of risky websites divided by the number of search results returned.

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