Fraud and identity theft are common crimes against many travelers. However, you can take steps to help keep your devices and information safe from potential hackers and prying eyes. Keep reading to find out what those tips are.
Keep Devices Updated
Be sure your devices have the latest security and software updates installed. You should also turn off any location or file-sharing services that may be used. Take time to back up your photos and other important items on your device to a portable storage device or the cloud. Do this often to avoid losing important data or information.
Limit Use of Public Wi-Fi
While everyone has used public Wi-Fi at some point, you should try to limit doing this. The only time it is safe is if you have a VPN. The networks typically aren’t secure and nefarious individuals can see them as an easy way to access your information. You should also avoid logging into your online banking portal while using public Wi-Fi.
Secure Your Data and Devices
There are several ways you can secure your data and devices while traveling. One option is to invest in multi-factor authentication. You can also create and use strong passwords that are made up of a combination of characters, letters, and numbers. You can also use biometric (fingerprint) protection on your devices. Taking these steps will help ensure that nefarious individuals cannot access your information.
Enable Tracking on Your Devices
You should ensure that the devices you are using have a tracking app enabled on them when possible. If it is stolen or lost, this might help you find it. Another tool that may be beneficial is an app to wipe your phone. If someone steals it, you will be able to erase all the information stored on it remotely.
You should use a VPN or Virtual Private Network when going online. This is especially important if you plan to use any public Wi-Fi network, such as the one at the airport, coffee shop, or any other public location. With a VPN, you have a secure network connection through a public network. Your device or laptop will communicate using a remote server and trusted keys that make it possible to identify one another. After the identity is established, the connection is secure. That means that anything sent through this connection will be encrypted.
Besides providing a secure network, you can also look at secure sites, such as your bank account. You will also be able to get around any banned sites like Facebook in some countries, like China. You may also be able to access streaming services that may have been geo-blocked because of your location. This can be beneficial if you want to watch something after traveling all day. You can also find several VPN products; however, remember they are not all the same. They don’t all provide the high level of protection you may need, so do your homework first.
Turn Your Wi-Fi Off
Turn the Wi-Fi signal to your phone off when it is not in use. This is true for mobile hotspots and Bluetooth connections, too, if you tether to your laptop or any other electronic device.
You may want to think about traveling with a burner phone that you don’t care about instead of the expensive one you use daily. In some places, like South America, iPads and smartphones are attractive takes for local thieves. If you leave these at home, you don’t have to worry about them being stolen. Also, if your burner phone is taken, your information and other important information will remain safe on your main phone at home.
If your goal is to remain safe online while traveling, you have to take the right steps. Having the necessary information and knowing what to consider and do will help ensure that you have a positive travel experience and that you keep your information and data safe from prying eyes.