Today’s travelers are more connected than ever before. They can read blogs and online hotel reviews, check airline status and make reservations from their cell phone. They can stay in touch with friends using social media sites. But that same technology opens up new vulnerabilities for travelers. In today’s world of constant connection and digital documentation, staying safe while traveling is more important than ever before. Check out the following tips to stay safe while traveling.
Lock your devices with passwords
One of the best ways to keep your devices safe is to use passwords. It might seem like overkill to add another layer of security to your devices, but it’s worth it. If you’re traveling for work and accessing sensitive information, or if you’re just worried about who might be snooping on your device, using a password will give you an extra level of security. If you have a laptop or desktop computer, you can set a password there. For your phone, you can use a password to log in, or you can enable fingerprint or biometric authentication.
Stay in touch with family and friends while traveling
When you travel, you’re going to want to let your friends and family know where you are and how they can stay in touch with you. One of the most important things you can do is make sure that your device’s location is turned on so that people can track where you are.
If you’re using a smartphone, you’ll have the option to enable location services, which will use GPS to track your phone’s location. You can also download a GPS-tracking app, like Find My Friends, so that your loved ones can track you while you’re on the road. But be careful: If you’re not careful, those same location services could also let someone else track your device.
For more privacy, use an encrypted messaging app like Signal or WhatsApp. These apps let you send messages that are encrypted and private, so only you and the recipient can read them.
Don’t store your credit card information
When you’re booking a hotel room or an Airbnb, you might be tempted to use a credit card to log in and save the reservation. But you probably shouldn’t — especially if you’re traveling outside the country. That’s because many hotels and other businesses still store that credit card information in plain text, which means anyone who hacks the company’s system can see it.
That also means hackers can log into your account and see that information, and use it to make purchases or steal money from your account. You can avoid this by not storing your credit card information when you book your travel reservations. Instead, you can use a card that doesn’t store that information.
Don’t use WiFi you don’t trust
It might sound obvious, but avoid logging into any sensitive accounts, like your email or bank account, while connected to WiFi you don’t trust. In fact, you might want to avoid logging into any accounts while you’re traveling, just to be safe.
READ ALSO: How much does a travel nurse make
Computers, phones, and WiFi networks are all potential targets for hackers. To stay safe while connected to WiFi, you’ll want to make sure that you log in to a VPN. A VPN encrypts all of the data coming and going from your computer to keep it safe and secure.
Install an app to find your luggage
If you’re traveling via air, you know that the first thing you lose is your luggage. While some airlines provide a service where you can log in and track your bag, luggage tracking apps like Fly Now or Luggage are a must have.
These apps allow you to log in and track the status of your bag so that you know exactly when it will arrive. If you’re traveling by car, boat, or train, you might not be able to follow your bag.
But you can still keep it safe by tracking the GPS location of your vehicle. Apps like Auto-Mate, Automatic, and Drive Log can help you keep track of your car’s location, letting you know if someone is tampering with it.
Travel with a portable charger
When you travel, you might be on your phone more than you’re used to. That can be a problem if your phone’s battery is dead and you don’t have an outlet to plug it in. That’s where a portable charger comes in. These devices can charge your phone on the go, so you don’t ever have to worry about your phone dying.
These devices are especially useful for international travelers since the voltage on different countries’ power is different. For example, the U.S. voltage is 110 volts, while many European countries have 220 volts. That means that if you plug a 110-volt device into a 220-volt outlet, you could end up frying your device. A portable charger can help you avoid these problems by automatically switching between voltages.
Take care of your belongings
No matter where you’re traveling, you can take steps to make sure your belongings stay safe. First, make sure that you’re only bringing the things you need. Leaving behind the extraneous items can help keep your bag lighter and make it less of a target. If you’re worried about pickpockets or someone trying to break into your bag, you can use a bag strap that locks your bag closed.
For the exterior of your bag, you can use ant-theft bags to keep it safe while traveling. These bags come with a cord that locks the bag to something. You can also protect your identity while traveling. Leave your laptop at home and only take your phone with you while traveling. The fewer devices you bring with you, the better protected they’ll be.
Traveling is an exciting adventure, but it’s important to stay safe while you’re away from home. When traveling, it’s important to keep your devices secure, use a VPN to protect your data, and equip yourself with an anti-theft bag. You can also protect your identity by leaving your laptop at home, and taking care of your belongings while in transit. With these tips, you’ll be able to stay safe and have a memorable trip.