While mobile devices are useful on the road, staying connected and safe while traveling abroad is no easy task. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of potential threats and arm yourself with adequate, up-to-date information about the place you will be visiting.
Some people even buy a separate, cheaper phone just for traveling. But if you know how to secure your device and what to do in case you lose it, there is no need to go that far.
Here are some ways to help you enjoy your trip overseas without jeopardizing your privacy and security of your sensitive data:
Remote Account Logins
Before you pack your things and go, make sure that you are able to login to important accounts from your travel destination. Some services might give you some trouble when they notice login from an unusual location, and require to go through additional security verifications before letting you access your account.
If you are using any form of 2-factor authentication, ensure that you will have access to it when abroad. If you rely on SMS for this purpose, verify with your carrier that you will be able to receive text messages while you are away, and ask if they charge extra for this.
Do you need to get some work done, or have important contacts that might try to get in touch with you via email during your absence? If it is too difficult to notify everyone separately, set up an away message in all communication platforms you are using.
If you can set up an automatic reply too, that is even better. A short sentence telling people when they will be able to get in touch with you should be enough in most cases. However, if you have more time and want to get even fancier, create unique responses for specific contacts. This can be great for freelancers with lots of clients, where it might not be appropriate to notify them of your absence beforehand.
Think about what kinds of networks you will be using for your everyday browsing and general communications. You don’t want to expose any private information to wrong people, but this can easily happen if you try to login to your e-mail account over an unsecured network.
A reliable VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be a real lifesaver when you need to connect your Android device to public Wi-Fi hotspots. It encrypts your communications, making it impossible for snoopers to read and steal any sensitive information that you send or receive.
A VPN can also help solve some obstacles you may encounter while traveling, such as logging into your accounts from a new location as we described above. By connecting to a VPN server that is based in your home country, you will remove that small but annoying obstacle. Test your VPN for even stronger privacy.
Try to do everything you can to prevent your device from being compromised if it gets stolen. Apart from using a strong password generator and passcode, you can also encrypt the contents of a smartphone or tablet. This will prevent unauthorized access, even if someone steals your device.
If you can, enable phone tracking services too. Even though this will drain your battery a bit faster, it can be invaluable in case your phone gets lost or stolen.
With most modern smartphones, it is just a matter of going to a specific website, and you will be able to see the last known location of the device on an interactive map. The rest comes down to tracking it down in real life and getting the authorities on board.
As long as you come properly prepared, you should be able to enjoy your trip abroad with a few issues, as far as your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other devices are concerned.
And if you do run into an unfortunate situation of having something stolen, don’t panic – stay calm and alert the police as soon as possible. If you’ve followed all the tips we listed above, the malicious actors will not be able to do much with your device even if they get their hands on it.
And depending on where you are going, you might even be able to get better treatment from the authorities only because you are a tourist. But don’t rely on that by default – better follow these tips, use reliable online security tools, and bring your common sense wherever you go.