Keep Phone Safe While Traveling
Vacation time means travel time. And for many people, that means taking their smartphone, tablet, etc. with them to the beach, on a city trip, or on an adventure vacation. To ensure that you travel as safely as possible and that nothing happens to your technical devices on vacation, we have put together some tips for you on using your smartphone abroad, theft protection and more.
For many people, summer means going on vacation again. It is now a matter of course that your smartphone, tablet or notebook goes with you on your travels. But have you already thought about how you can protect your technical devices from thieves or pests while on vacation and avoid a cost shock due to horrendous smartphone bills at the end of your trip? If not, then read on, because we have some tips on traveling safely with your smartphone, tablet & Co.
Travel safely - check data roaming charges
No question – even on vacation, you want to stay in touch with friends and family. The smartphone is also always there as a camera substitute for quick snapshots of the beach or local sights. And of course it also comes in handy when you want to search for restaurants, leisure activities or timetables. But to make sure your dream vacation doesn’t turn into a nightmare, there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to traveling safely.
Traveling safely with a smartphone or tablet begins even before the actual start of your vacation. Especially if you want to use your smartphone abroad, you should thoroughly inform yourself in advance about mobile network prices. It is true that data roaming charges were abolished in 2017, so you no longer incur extra costs for using the mobile Internet abroad in the EU.
Nevertheless, using your smartphone abroad can quickly become a cost trap – namely if you use a rate plan that generally excludes data roaming or if you travel outside the EU. If you are in doubt, you should check your smartphone rate again before you travel.
Travel safely - make backup before the trip
Traveling safely with smartphones, tablets and the like requires some preparation before the start of your vacation so that you don’t experience any unpleasant surprises. Therefore, be sure to make a data backup and perform all necessary updates for apps and operating systems.
This will not only ensure that your devices are up to date and thus best protected against Trojans and other malware, but also that you will still have access to your data if your device breaks down or is stolen while you are on vacation. Your local shop will help you back up your data and check your device for possible weak points with the security check.
You should also note down the 15-digit device number of your smartphone as well as the SIM number, pin and puk before you leave and keep them in a safe place independent of the devices in question.
Travel safely - protect devices with password and encryption
Safe travel with smartphones also includes protecting the technical devices with a password. On Android phones, you can assign either a pin or a password in the settings. You can also set your own unlock pattern. However, make sure that you select the “Make pattern visible off” option so that no one accidentally finds out your unlock pattern.
Likewise, it is advisable to protect your devices and files from unauthorized access with encryption. There are various options for encryption for both Windows PCs and smartphones. On the laptop, for example, Bitlocker Drive Encryption comes into question, Android smartphones can be encrypted in the settings in the menu item “Device Security/Encryption”. There are also a large number of anti-theft apps that can provide additional protection.
Travel safely - with theft protection for smartphone
However, password and encryption are far from being reliable theft protection when traveling safely. The greatest danger for your device is posed by thieves who take advantage of an unobserved moment – for example, when you are swimming in the sea and leave your smartphone unattended on the beach.
Of course, it makes the most sense not to take expensive technical devices to the beach in the first place, but to lock them in the hotel safe instead. This protects the devices from the sun, sand and water. But if you really don’t want to do without your smartphone, you can equip it with special theft protection.
For example, there are electronic alarm systems where you equip your smartphone, tablet or notebook with a transmitter. The receiver remains with you and can be taken along as a key fob, for example. If the two parts move too far away from each other, an alarm is triggered, alerting you to the potential theft. For notebooks and laptops, there are also corresponding locks that you can use to virtually chain your device and thus deter potential thieves.
Travel safely - protect your device from malware
In addition to potential theft of the device, malware is also a great danger for your smartphone on vacation. One of the most important tips for traveling safely with smartphones & co. is therefore to avoid using public WLAN. Free WLAN is a convenience that few vacationers want to do without. However, public networks also harbor some dangers and, in case of doubt, can lead to malware on your device.
Traveling safely therefore works best if you deactivate automatic WLAN connections on your devices. Also make sure that you only surf on HTTPS sites and do not exchange personal data via an open WLAN if possible. It is also important that you check your WLAN access data carefully. Hackers often try to get you to log on to their insecure network instead of the hotel WLAN with a similar-sounding SSID name.
Use VPN instead of public WLAN
If you still need to access personal data or accounts, you should use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for this purpose. This way you can better protect the data traffic against unauthorized access.
Of course, you should also install an up-to-date antivirus program on your device.
Travel safely - thought of everything?
To be able to travel safely, good preparation is half the battle and starts even before you leave. This includes, for example, not publicizing your vacation in advance on social media so as not to draw the attention of potential burglars to your empty apartment. You should also not refer to your vacation in your voicemail message – after all, random callers don’t necessarily need to know how long you’ll be on vacation and where.
But if you deal with all the questions about traveling safely with your smartphone, tablet and notebook before you leave, you can relax especially well during your trip. If you now also remember to pack all the charging cables, you can look forward to a relaxed, safe vacation.
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