Alex O'Brien

Travel Tips

6 golden rules to keep your smartphone safe while travelling

6 golden rules to keep your smartphone safe while travelling

New technology means you have to think about a whole new kind of theft while on the road – the information stored on your smartphone.

1. Be careful of public Wi-Fi

Data usage can be a huge expense when travelling, so it’s always nice to see a free Wi-Fi network that doesn’t require a password pop up on your phone. Before you log on, keep in mind that these networks are accessible to everyone – including the bad guys who will try to hack into your phone. Try to use encrypted networks that require a log in as these can provide a higher level of security.

2. Turn off Bluetooth pairings

Bluetooth provides another avenue for hackers to access your phone. Switch your Bluetooth settings to ‘non-discoverable’, which means that any other devices around you won’t be able to see you. If you see a request for pairing come up from an unknown device, always reject it.

3. Don’t save your important details

It can be much easier to save your passwords or even credit card details on your phone so you don’t have to reenter them every time. But using the autofill feature means that if someone does manage to hack your phone, they have all of your details ready to go.

4. Keep your device up to date

Make sure that your phone is operating on the latest software update. These will generally include the best security settings to protect you from unsafe networks. If you’re really worried, you can install a third party security app that will act like virus protection software on your computer. This can be useful if you’re travelling in a country where malware is especially prevalent, like China or Russia.

5. Resist the urge to click

One of the most common ways that malware gets into your phone is because you invite it. If you’re browsing the web or using a new app, be wary of pop ups that ask you to click to continue or to agree to terms. A good rule of thumb is if you see anything you don’t trust come onto your screen, close the application immediately.

6. Secure the device itself

Your data is also in danger if you lose or someone steals the phone itself. This little device can give them access to just about everything you use, from your email to social media and even things like bank accounts. Make sure your phone always requires a PIN to unlock or some will even let you use a fingerprint.

Do you generally take your smartphone on holidays, and what measures do you take to ensure its safe? Do you think it’s worth having on your trip?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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