In today’s Washington Post, Christopher Elliot explores the key security apps and devices that we shouldn’t travel without, including a nice recommendation of our own Prey Anti-Theft app.
We’re seeing Prey mentioned quite a bit this summer in stories about keeping safe while traveling. Our worldwide reliability makes Prey the best travel-buddy of any digital nomad!
But you don’t take your phones with you on a trip to track them down. Our mobile devices do much more than communication today — they literally lead the trip when we travel.
Smartphones: Your Travel Buddy
A few thumb-flips start the research to book the trip. Our phones tell us what to do, where to go, and can schedule and book our travel. Call for an Uber/Lift, flash your mobile tickets, tap for mobile payment, ask Siri for a translation. What’s more, most of us are completely dependent upon mobile navigation to get anywhere.
There’s no need to worry that much about your home during your vacation, you can stay connected 24/7 to your smart home, watching video doorbells and adjusting the thermostat for your dogs. Our phones are digital keys, tokens and password managers. They even serve as a mobile office to allow us to keep things moving at work when traveling.
Phones have become so important to our daily lives, many people today would prefer to lose their wallet! So, before your next trip heed the advice of the Washington Post, and take a few easy steps to protect your phones, laptops, and tablets.
Here are a few tips from our end:
1. Install a VPN:
Virtual private networks serve as a privacy protector that keeps your personal information, navigation behavior, app usage, and passwords in your phone only.
Attackers can fake public Wi-Fis to scrape the data you send over as you connect to services, log into your email, or browse the internet. A VPN, such as TunnelBear or NordVPN, masks your identity online and ensures you’re connected through a safe connection, even when using foreign Wi-Fis.
2. Activate 2 Factor Authentication:
Doesn’t sound familiar? 2FA is a second verification you can activate in most accounts when logging in. For example, you can set your Facebook account to ask for your password, and then send a special SMS code to confirm it is you who is trying to log in.
This ensures that -if your password is breached, leaked, hacked, or looked over your shoulder- the attacker can’t access it with that unique, and expendable code. 2FA comes in all shapes and sizes. SMS verification codes, email verification codes, fingerprints, and authentication apps that generate random security codes.
3. Ensure Your Encryption is On:
Both Android and iOS phones have on-board encryption capabilities that you can configure to protect your files from being extracted by a thief, or whoever finds your lost phone.
You can access this setting in most Android versions in the Settings menu, under the Security & Location menu. Here you’ll find an Encryption option you can turn on, sometimes called vault, or ‘file safe’. Apple’s phones, on the other hand, encrypt by default.
4. As Always, Install Prey
The last step is the easiest! Prey’s free protection can go a long way when helping you recover your phone, laptop or tablet. No matter where in the world you are, we can come in your aid.
Plus, you get to monitor your devices at home and see that everything’s fine and dandy. You can cover up to three devices with the free plan, and set up a Control Zone to detect if that laptop you left at home moves out of it!
Pickpockets During Travels
According to last year’s Mobile Theft & Loss Report, conducted by us, almost a third of all pickpockets happen in public transports, one of the most frequent things you’ll be using abroad to move about.
They are the second most frequent type of loss event, under misplacement. What we realized from this report is that people make themselves vulnerable when feeling comfortable with the location they are in. This applies to vacations as well, and that is why you need to be ready, and a bit wary, before things happen.
So, better get ready for your next adventure and get all the apps you need to worry less, and enjoy more without having to prepare, or study an entirely new language, in such a short notice! If you want even more advice on how to protect your mobiles, see our 20 basic tips for Android and iOS users article!