For most of us, we now have been through the longest period of our lives without traveling since going to the grocery store doesn’t count! But with different vaccines well through development, we could all be hitting the road again very soon.
With that in mind, we might be a little rusty and not the travel pros we once were. And with hackers, thieves, and other threats ready as ever to inflict harm, we also need to be prepared.
Don’t worry; we’re not trying to frighten you—far from it. We want you to have a perfect trip. Here’s what you need to know: be prepared and ensure your phone and data stay safe while traveling. As a perk, these tips are just as effective even when your biggest trip is to the mailbox!
1. Lock Your Devices
Even now, over 50% of people don’t password-protect their mobile devices. Think of all the important things you have there, like messages, emails, personal photos and videos, and banking apps.
So even if you’re only headed outside for a few minutes, you need to ensure that your phone is locked. We know it can be annoying always to have to unlock your phone, but not getting hacked or having a nosy roommate read your messages is more than worth it!
Turn your device password anytime you close your phone screen or put your phone down. Likewise, enable biometrics to enhance further your safety.
2. Get a VPN
VPNs are the best way to keep your data safe whether you’re at home or traveling the world. A VPN or virtual private network both encrypt and anonymize your internet connection with the latest security technologies.
In addition to being extremely easy to use—download and enable anytime you use your phone—they are really handy for unsecured public WiFi and other risky environments.
Further, they are essential travelers as they can allow you to access content from back home as if you were there through virtual servers, making them a must-have.
3. Never Leave Your Device Unattended
You might be traveling to the safest destination on earth, but that’s no reason to let your guard down. It only takes a second for somebody to walk off with your $1,000 iPhone leaving you helpless.
But even if your device doesn’t get stolen, a fraudster might implant spyware on it to track what you do and where you go. Or somebody might find ways to get into your personal business.
Whatever the reason, always keep your devices with you—even if you’re just getting up for a second. Better safe than sorry.
4. Strong Passwords Are Essential
We already discussed why you need to have a password/PIN code for your phone. But you also need to improve your password security for your online accounts.
You never know what could happen. But if you use the same password across your accounts, you’ll put yourself at great risk of identity theft.
That’s why all passwords must be unique as well as lengthy and complicated. No more “pizza123.” To help you remember them use a password manager and make sure you always turn on two-factor authentication.
5. Turn on “Find My” Apps
Even if you do everything right, it’s possible for you to lose your phone—or for it to get stolen. Traveling is hectic. Maybe it just slid out of your vacation shorts, or maybe a real thief has targeted you.
Either way, apps like Find My iPhone, Find My Device, and so on are a good way for you to locate lost/stolen objects. They have a range of features in addition to GPS tracking, like popping up a message with contact information and remote data erasure if you suspect a thief has your phone.
Best of all, most devices have these already installed, but they must be enabled before they can be used. So, make sure yours are turned on now!
Have The Wonderful Trip You Deserve
We all need a change of space. After months of being holed up, it’s time to get out there and explore the world again once the pandemic is over.
Have the best trip you can have, and start taking these steps to protect your device and data now. They’re not only super easy to do, but it’s the kind of essential cybersecurity that you need to follow regardless of whether you’ve traveled to Timbuktu or only to your living room. Happy travels!