Written by Alex Bach
It’s that time of the decade again: the Olympics! Specifically, the Winter Olympics. That time when countries across the world submit their best athletes to compete against the rest of the world’s greatest athletes.
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And with those athletes comes reporters, families, politicians and other national representatives. Unfortunately, in our world’s turbulent climate, that also means a large target for extremist groups. As the world’s competing countries are aware of that risk, that means security in the course of your travels will be greatly increased as a means of prevention.
While there haven’t been any specific plots to emerge against the 2014 Winter Games, held in Sochi, Russia this year, there has been “chatter” and most airlines are erring on the side of caution.
What This Means For You
You can expect amped-up security for people traveling internationally, with specific security escalation in flights to Russia. This doesn’t necessarily mean mandatory pat downs for every traveler, but it does mean more scrutiny placed on carry-on items.
Recent chatter has made mention of explosives hidden in toothpaste containers and so airline security agents are told to look for suspicious containers such as toothpaste or other gels and liquids. If you can afford to travel without any of these items, do so as it will save you unnecessary headaches and expedite your travel greatly.
This doesn’t apply to every traveler and every country; these are mainly items of security intended for travelers flying into Russia or neighboring areas.
Are There Other Risks?
Unfortunately, yes; hacking is one of the big threats for travelers going to Sochi. As recently reported by NBC’s Richard Engle, hackers are primed and ready to access your laptop and cellphones the minute you step off the plane. As Russia’s hackers are among the most skilled hackers in the world, it’s a good idea to protect yourself. Leave whatever electronic devices you can at home, or else make sure and remove any sensitive materials, and never, ever, ever click on any of the links from unknown emails.
The Olympics are surely a fantastic event to travel to, just remember to travel safely and smartly: thankfully those two go hand in hand.