Security Issues With Online Hotel And Ticket Booking Websites

The Internet has quietly revolutionized the world. It has made completion of tasks easy and fast, making us dependent on it heavily for almost every aspect of our life. One of the earliest revolutions took place in the banking industry, followed by the ticket booking services, after the US military made their ARPANET project public and allowed universities and businesses to take advantage of this wonderful technology.

Interestingly, computer and programming nerds create primitive web based ticket booking systems with the Java language, which is considered by many as the language of the internet. They do so for their academic projects in their schools and colleges and these applications are insignificant with respect to the commercial versions. However, the case was discussed to make the reader realize the popularity of theses internet based ticket booking applications.

Now, coming to the main point, online ticket booking and hotel reservation systems often provide the option of paying the required amount online, which is referred to as wire transfer in common man’s language. These websites use third party plug-ins through APIs, that integrates their website’s database with the bank’s computer systems and servers through a software-defined network device called the Payment Gateway.

Generally, these payment gateways are extremely secure environments that employ Secured Socket Layer or SSL algorithms, which can be 64 bit or 128 bit encryption algorithms, based on the requirement. 128 bit SSL algorithms are the most secure algorithms deployed in public domain for the purpose of securing fund transfer environments and encrypt the sensitive information with a highly secure process that is extremely difficult to crack by present standards.

The problem, or rather the loopholes lie with the internal data storage mechanisms deployed by the third party ticket booking websites. Sometimes, to reduce the cost associated with maintaining the security standards high, these websites do not take adequate measure to ensure that the payment related information are safe in their servers. It might also be the fact that their server or database administrators are not skilled enough to ensure stringent security measures are deployed.

It may happen that while no security breach takes place on part of your bank’s transfer system, security loopholes might exist in the hotel’s or the airline’s own website. If their servers are hacked and the data is appropriately mined by any expert hacker, your entire details regarding the financial transaction, including your credit card details, will be in front of the hacker.

The hacker can simply download or copy the information to some other system of his own and use the same to perform unauthorized transactions and fund transfers. Although banks deploy double-layered verification methods to mitigate such frauds, the process is far from being full-proof.

Thus, think twice before you trust third party hotel and ticket booking service. Even the best hotel booking service providers are vulnerable to such server attacks by cyber experts and they do very little to plug the loopholes in their systems and servers.

Holiday and Travel Insurance Trends in the Recession

Like many industries, luxury holiday operators are showing signs of the downturn. There are airlines, holiday insurance companies and travel companies reporting significant losses. Everywhere you look there are offers to tempt you into making a booking. Even the stalwart British Airways have posted losses in the region of £400m.

It is a risky and exciting time, depending on your point of view. Some travellers have taken advantage of holiday destinations that have been hit the hardest. Holidays to Iceland are yielding good value because of a favourable exchange rate following the collapse of Icelandic banks. On the other side of the coin, British travellers in Europe are noticing how the weak pound compared to the Euro can make things seem expensive.

Since holidays can amount to a significant financial outlay, what is crucial is that every traveller gets adequate protection for their holiday and the money they spend. The financial protection and assurance that comes with cheap holiday insurance is a vital precaution, perhaps more than it ever has been.

Although holiday makers going abroad may be reluctant to trust their money with travel insurance from struggling companies like AIG, the risk of your holidays – in which you’ve invested your heard-earned wages – being disrupted are as evident as ever. As well as delays caused by strikes, collapses such as that of the XL travel company late in 2008 will serve as a warning. It resulted in twenty one planes staying put, and about 85,000 travellers being stranded across the globe. This incident shows how important it is to look at whether your holiday insurance company will cover the cancellation of a holiday once it has begun – some don’t, including many of the Irish travel insurance companies.

Such problems have shown the value of choosing holidays carrying the ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) scheme, which refunds the traveller when holiday providers fall through on their promises. Worryingly, the proportion of holiday makers protected by ATOL has diminished by about a third in the last ten years owing to increased numbers of people arranging their own flights. For these intrepid souls, getting cheap holiday insurance takes on paramount importance. It can reimburse you when you are forced by delays or cancellations to make alternate plans.

You would expect that ‘tightening the purse strings’ would mean many families postponing their holiday all together this year; what the economic downturn has done is cause a resurgence in people taking holidays closer to home. UK based resorts like Butlins are reporting increased bookings.

A survey conducted by The Post Office has shown that 25% of people taking their holidays in the UK will do it without the protection of some cheap holiday insurance. This is partly because the traditional two weeks abroad is frequently being exchanged for a series of long weekends, where people may wrongly think of travel insurance is unnecessary. It will provide cover for incidents where hotels close, domestic flights lose luggage, and even pay for hospital transfers after an accident.

Get the Most Out of Your Travel Agent

Booking air travel, authoritative auberge anxiety and alignment vacation biking in accepted has afflicted absolutely with the appearance of the internet and abounding humans try to be their own biking agents. While you can align acutely a lot of of your biking yourself, you can’t do as able-bodied as your biking abettor in a continued run!

Travel processionals, whether your bounded biking agent, bout abettor or destination specialist still acquire contacts that you as an industry alien do not have. As in amount of added professions, biking agents, whether in a arcade centermost abreast your home or an online agency, wherever they may be located, do apperceive something you do not, acquire way to book and align biking for you in agency bare or alien to you.

Traditionally you could acquaintance a biking abettor and ask for a quote, whether a amount of an air ticket, auberge or a vacation package. For the a lot of allotment biking agents still accommodate that affectionate of information, although there is a absolute how abundant admonition they may acknowledge as not all admonition is readily accessible to them.

First of all, a lot of biking agents absolutely may acquire at their fingertips accepted amount of air ticketing, auberge ante or assertive vacation bales accessible and will be blessed to accommodate the amount admonition to you instantly if asked. But already your biking appeal will allegation to be somewhat customized, whether tailored to your dates of biking or your added biking preferences, to acquisition a accordant acknowledgment will be time consuming. Because of this time aspect involved, do not automatically acquire an bureau is agog to absorb the time to accouter the admonition you seek if there is no allegation you will biking at all.

Look at the situations from the afterward perspective. In the old canicule if you had a botheration with your car, you’d drive it to your adjacency car artisan and asked him to see what was amiss with it. You would bead the car off at the garage, the artisan would acquire a attending and acquaint you what the botheration was. He would aswell accord you an appraisal and it was up to you to adjudge if you capital him to fix it appropriate afresh and there, delay or seek addition assessment and addition quote. His casework amount you nothing.

But not anymore. These days, no garage, no car adjustment artisan is accommodating to absorb time aggravating to acquisition out what’s the botheration with your car afterwards charging you at atomic one hour activity upfront. Pay and he will attending and acquaint you. Up to you if you will adjudge to yield your car to addition boutique or acquire him fix it, he has covered his time spent diagnosing what’s amiss with your car.

Similarly, abounding biking agencies and able biking planners and bout operators will allegation you an upfront biking planning fee if you are requesting biking align that aboriginal of all are time consuming, or there is no agreement you will book anything. All you are afterwards are about clandestine custom-built biking adjustment s and there are no simple answers or options to accord you, and the alone way to acquisition out will be for the abettor to dig and argue all sorts of altered sources he has at this auctioning and afresh present the biking alternatives to you for you to adjudge upon.

When alive with a biking agent, biking artist or any added biking able such as a abreast destination specialist, accumulate in apperception that a assertive agreement will assure you will get not alone the affectionate of biking align you ambition in accepted but aswell you’ll accretion a accurate accomplice that will consistently plan in your best absorption whether you’ll biking abroad from home on business or for pleasure.

1. Aboriginal of all, if contacting a biking agent, whether in being or online, don’t alternate to accord them your name – don’t worry, a lot of agents will not spam you back. Afterwards your name if you’re allurement for a admired biking admonition a lot of agents will not yield your appeal too seriously. Call if you ambition but a lot of agents adopt not to yield notes, email is a way to go and for an abettor to attending up a book generally a time agency he has to bung in a name, so ability as able-bodied that name will be your absolute name. If you adjudge not to acquire the booking the catch will expire and no abuse done. If you adjudge afterwards to acquirement the catch the abettor does not acquire to rekey it into the arrangement all over again.

2. If you’re aggravating to be you own biking agent, even in part, say you plan to book your own hotels online, acknowledge it to the abettor your are contacting for assistance, he/she may still be absorbed to advice you with the blow of your biking arrangements. Don’t adumbrate your intentions from the abettor as agents don’t like to be acclimated for admonition acquisition purposes only.

3. If at all possible, consistently acquaintance your biking abettor or destination specialist as anon as you apperceive if and area you ambition to travel, not endure minute afore your advised departure. That is even added important if you’re planning a cruise to a bottom frequented destination.

4. Don’t book your flights and hotels online and ask a biking abettor to do the rest, namely the difficult parts, such as circuitous busline connections, biking align in limited locations or to book segments that you just feel are not safe for you to book online yourself. Accord your abettor to architecture and book your absolute cruise for you. The affliction you can do is architecture your own vacation package, afresh archetype and email the aforementioned appeal to dozen altered agents to see who may be the everyman bidder. Yes, the internet is absolute for that affectionate of admonition acquisition but attending at this from a angle of a biking agent. If he/she knows you are sending the aforementioned appeal to dozen agents abounding of them will not be too absorbed in ambidextrous with you. Afresh again, cogent them the accuracy they will acknowledge alive what you are accomplishing and access the accomplished affair absolutely abnormally and in the end they just ability action you a deal.

5. If you’re afterwards booking shoe-string amount of travel, for archetype adulatory to book the everyman blazon of accommodations, best be your own biking agent. Do apprehend that agents can’t book casework that are artlessly too bargain to activate with, not to acknowledgment that that affectionate of suppliers do not pay abettor s any affectionate of commission. The abettor may still advice you but accumulate in apperception he will be accomplishing you a favor and will be alive for you at no charge. If so, acknowledge it, email your acknowledge you.

Do apprehend that to ask an abettor actor questions, get all the answers, including time arresting quotes, alone for you to never epitomize afresh is absolutely abrupt and turns agents off completely. If you are affable and admiring abounding will generally plan afterwards any allegation on your part, accouterment you with admonition you need, alive for free. But because of those that just carry advice out of agents so they could possibly book biking on their own leaves not alone a acerb aftertaste in agent’s aperture but absolutely induces the accommodation to allegation au upfront planning fees if a next analysis comes.

6. On addition hand, if it comes to high end apartment accumulate in apperception these hotels commonly action discounts to agents that agents can markup and still action you allowance costs beneath auberge arbor rates. Genuine abettor is not absorbed in affairs you a college end auberge in adjustment to accomplish a college agency but to clothier in a bigger cruise acquaintance for you area he deems it desirable.

7. Accumulate in apperception that there is a aberration amid a biking abettor and a so alleged Destination Specialist. A lot of biking agents use online catch systems to book transportation, auberge and vacation packages. They about book or resell ready-to-sell biking offers from a array of suppliers that do not crave added than bushing in your name and dates of travel. If it comes to you defective customized arrangements, they will allegation to acquaintance bout operators and destination specialists that are either allotment of their bunch or a arrangement they accord to. Depending on the access they acquire they will or will not be able to advice you.

8. Destination Specialists pride themselves in absolutely alive their destinations. Abounding of them acquire absolutely not alone catholic abundantly but apperceive a accurate destination chaotic so they can align biking acumen for you based on knowing, rather than searching it up in a advertisement or some affectionate of abstracts base. Abounding Destination Specialists specialize in difficult, custom advised itineraries and do not advertise biking packages. Generally a time admitting not consistently that affectionate of account reflects college markup.

9. Last, amuse agenda that abounding destination specialists as able-bodied as biking agents plan 110 or added hours per anniversary because abnormally custom-design biking is absolutely actual time consuming. Being acceptable at biking acumen does yield acquaintance and while with the internet it seems additional attributes to be able to align biking on your own, abounding biking able are absolutely actual acceptable at what they do! They do apperceive added about biking than you, accord them a chance, they can save you not alone money but aswell abounding headaches and aloft all, they can assure not alone that you’ll biking worry-free but that you may acquire a cruise of your life! Accumulate in mind, a acceptable abettor is not afterwards affairs you a individual admission or a amalgamation tour, they ambition you to become a echo client, their go-to-travel processional for blow of your life.