Airbnb is an enterprise platform that was established back in 2008. Its main objective is to enable homeowners to rent out their extra rooms, apartments, or when they are not using their homes. Airbnb has since risen with over 2 million listings across 190+ countries globally. While the AirBnB’s platform allows hosts to earn from their rented homes, traveling guests are also accommodated in the process. Although hosts are faced with issues from this line of business, guests, however, are always faced with significant security threats right from the booking process, the stay, and even at checkout. Here are the major security threats – reasons why you should not use Airbnb.
Fake Ads, links and sites
Looking at sites like Gumtree and Craigslist, you might find Airbnb-inspired adverts being run as phishing scams. While there are some ways scammers will use to get to your data, Airbnb is continually failing to put measures to curb this rising behavior.
Some scammers will use these adverts to lure you to send them your details to a listed email. Most users will fall for this since the images used by the scammers are the same pictures found on Airbnb official site. According to the Huffington Post, a user once complained of the scam, where she claimed that the scam site looked identical to that of Airbnb. They make you answer their questions; then you are later told the rooms are unavailable. The fact that the site is created to be so real, to a point where there is a 24/7 live chat support, should get you worried. The scammers will use the same methods of AirBnB of asking you to make payments via bank transfers.
Airbnb tends to be encouraging Fake Listings
A report published by Forbes confirmed that cyber-attackers seem to have found another way of robbing users which is dependent on Airbnb. They do these attacks via fake listings. Nevertheless, what remains a mystery is why Airbnb is unable to come up with a picture authentication system, to help stop these counterfeit listings.
Scammers in this category, take original photos of properties and customize them to assume ownership. They will then lure you to book the rooms as displayed in the pictures. Sites like AirBnBHell were created to lure verified users into providing their complaints on the site. These users end up providing their information to the seemingly opposing site. The site was initially created for the good but has since been used for identity theft. Although Airbnb has tried curbing the fraudulent cases, the platform is still lacking enough capacity to help its victims from being scammed every day.
Serious WiFi concerns at AirBnB premises
In 2016, The Guardian published a report, warning about the infrastructure used to connect to the internet in most Airbnb homes is weak and vulnerable to hackers and phishers. You could succeed in securing yourself a decent room or apartment at an Airbnb enterprise, but unfortunately, the interface may not be protected enough against cyber-attacks. These hackers could take advantage of the vulnerabilities by extracting fake listings, and other vital details they can use later for scamming.
Moreover, practices like packet sniffing can be perfected by the attackers – allowing them t0 collect vital data, which they will use later. With that wealth of historical data, these hackers can attack past, and present guests, in unprecedented ways.
In other cases, the WiFi signal could be weak, or not capable of supporting multiple users at a time. This brings inconveniences among guests, who need to enjoy all their rightful services in a commercial place.
Airbnb requires you to use a non-free software app
Airbnb forces its users to use non-free software – which has been known to be insecure and vulnerable to attacks. Any app running on a non-free software will risk your data to scammers, more especially when connected to a public WiFi network. The fact that Airbnb has never considered upgrading to using a free software version means they don’t care about your data security and privacy.