All the gizmos and gadgets we carry with us daily take on a bigger dimension when traveling.
The development of new digital technologies has opened up new opportunities for travelers, but at the same time has increased exposure to scams and security risks while on the road.
You may be traveling far from home this summer, but hackers with access to your digital data are only a few keystrokes away from your bank account, credit cards and overall identity.
TravelInsurance.com has compiled a list of five digital travel security recommendations:
1. Backup Your Documents: Scan or take pictures of your travel documents, including your passport, airline tickets, hotel reservations and insurance papers on your phone in case the originals are lost or stolen.
2. Sanitize your Devices: Before leaving home, remove all non-essential personal information from your computer, phone and other devices. Make sure to set a strong password on your computer and mobile devices and look into possibly having the devices automatically wiped after a large number of incorrect password entries.
3. Assume Your Data Is Not Secure: Anyone can gather your data without much difficulty. Some countries monitor data and emails, while airports and hotels are generally public or semi-public internet hubs. Use a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure your privacy and to access websites that might be blocked by local internet providers. A VPN is a private and secure internet network that you can reach via any internet connection. Never submit sensitive payment information on websites if the browser shows “http” instead of “https.” Also, turn on two factor authentication on all of your email, banking and credit card accounts as an added measure of security (provided that you can receive text messages at your destination).
4. Download Apps: There are a variety of apps that can help keep you informed and secure while on the road. The State Department’s Smart Traveler app is available free of charge from both iTunes and the Google Play store. It’s a great source of information about specific countries, travel advisories and warnings.
5. Don’t Fry Your Devices: Make sure that you have the right adapters. Check the tech specs of your devices and the electrical standards of your travel destinations.
Finally, you might want to consider travel insurance with many plans now offering Identity Theft protection as an included benefit.