4 Ways To Keep Your Mobile Device Safe While Traveling
When you travel, you need to use GPS-enabled devices, access your personal accounts, and take photos. But using your mobile device while you’re away from home can be dangerous for your personal data. Before you leave, take the following four steps to keep your mobile device secure and learn what behaviors put you most at risk.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Image via Flickr by Serial Hikers
We all like to use public Wi-Fi networks because they help us from using significant amounts of data when browsing the web or using your GPS. Before you travel, however, update your wireless phone plan so that you can access important data without worrying about security issues.
As a general rule, public Wi-Fi networks are not protected networks. A Wi-Fi network with a password isn’t necessarily secure either. Your hotel’s Wi-Fi network, for example, may be password-protected, but every person inside the hotel has access to that network, which increases vulnerabilities.
If you must use a public Wi-Fi network, limit your time using the Wi-Fi network and do not log into any of your personal accounts, especially your bank account or an email address that’s connected to a bank account.
Update Your Software
When operating system (OS) designers learn about vulnerabilities in each OS, they update these systems to correct those issues and keep mobile devices safe. If you’re using an older version of iOS or Android, your mobile device is vulnerable to those older threats. Always update the operating system before you travel anywhere. To keep your phone as secure as possible, don’t change any security settings that come with your OS update either.
Use Programs With Built-in Security
One strategy some travelers take is to keep devices free of personal data. In other words, they avoid saving passwords and using apps that collect personal data. Completely wiping a device of personal information is difficult, so help yourself by using cloud services to store and protect the information you need on your phone. Rely on a service such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud server provider which offers built-in security features. When you do, you can store photos and other travel mementos safely in the cloud using your mobile device.
Download a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) masks your IP address, making your devices more difficult to hack and track. You can use a VPN on your iOS and Android devices to give you a secure way to browse the web. The best VPNs cost money, and sometimes a VPN will slow down your connection, but that protection is worthwhile when you need to access bank accounts or other accounts with sensitive information. Express VPN is one option many mobile users choose because it’s easy to use and fast.
The only true way to keep your information safe while traveling is to stop using your mobile device and leave it at home. Of course, that option is not possible for most of us because smartphones and tablets offer us GPS-guided directions, information about the places we’re visiting, and endless photo opportunities. But when you apply the above four techniques, you can keep your mobile device secure when you’re traveling.