We all rely heavily on our smartphones throughout the day, especially when traveling as you always need to make and check bookings as well using your device to check other information.
That is why you want to be sure that your personal and data security is not compromised as it could leave you in a potentially difficult or even dangerous situation.
Ask a cyber security professional who knows how to tackle these sorts of issues, and they will be able to provide a comprehensive list of potential security threats that you need to protect yourself against.
Here is a look at some of those potential threats and some useful hacks designed to help improve your safety and enhance your travel experience.
1. Be prepared to go offline
Internet access when you are in another country can be very patchy and security protocols might not be as robust either.
It makes sense to be prepared to go offline if you can’t find a reliable internet connection or you are worried about exposing your device data to hackers. On the subject of going offline, it would make a lot of sense to raise your awareness of how to protect sensitive data and implement robust security measures. One way of doing this would be to consult someone like GPK Group, for instance, for guidance on cybersecurity concerns.
When it comes to going offline because of security concerns, one excellent hack to consider would be to download an offline map of the area you are visiting so that you can still navigate around without any access or security issues.
2. Call for help when you need it
You might not want to think about finding yourself in a challenging situation where your personal safety is at risk but it does make sense to have a contingency plan.
You can use your smartphone to use an app that is designed to track your whereabouts or discreetly call for help if you think you are in trouble.
There are a number of apps that can be used to send a digital SOS using your smartphone, regardless of whether you are using an iOS or Android phone. One example of this would be an app called React Mobile, which allows you to alert a list of trusted contacts in your app that you might be in danger and then offers you a chance to hit the Follow Me so they can track your GPS location. It also has a Help Me button that alerts your friends and the emergency services at the same time, when you are in danger for any reason and need help.
Check the app store for a suitable solution, and aim to have this sort of essential backup ready and loaded on your smartphone for when you travel.
3. An easier way to communicate
Language barriers are always going to exist when you travel around the globe but there are loads of apps around that can provide you with quick and easy translations.
Some apps even give you access to a live translator, which could be very useful when you need to be understood and don’t know how to say the right words.
Google Translate is a popular option with many smartphone users and it currently supports just over 100 different languages and about 50 of them work offline which is helpful when you are not connected to the internet.
A great feature of this app that has now been added is the ability to point your phone’s camera at a sign or piece of text that you are trying to decipher and it translates for you in your chosen language.
Another app to consider if you just want to speak rather than type what you want to translate would be SayHi. It currently covers about 90 languages and a neat feature of the app is the ability to regulate the speed of translation, allowing you to express yourself more easily.
4. VPN is safer
It is absolutely vital that you take steps to protect the data you have stored on your phone and using an open WiFi connection could easily make you very vulnerable to a malicious attack.
A good solution would be to subscribe to a trusted VPN site so that your information is encrypted.
In order to choose the most suitable VPN solution for your phone and your needs, you should have a list of features that will help you to narrow down your options. If you want to ensure that you enjoy privacy and security, look for a VPN provider who offers non-logging, which means they are not storing your browsing activity.
Having access to a variety of server locations so you can access global content would also be an advantage. Also, look for user-friendly mobile apps so you can get online with the minimum of fuss.
5. Use it or lose it
Incredibly, it is estimated that about a third of smartphone users haven’t activated the biometric protection option on their device or even used any sort of password to prevent it from being opened.
This is your first line of defense and should be activated before you travel anywhere.
6. If your smartphone is stolen
If the worst happens while traveling and your smartphone is lost or stolen you will then wish you had activated a feature like Find My iPhone.
This feature allows you to track its whereabouts. It also allows you to wipe the data remotely so that your personal data has less chance of falling into the hands of a criminal.
7. Don’t open that text message
Known as smishing, this is the practice of a cyber criminal sending a text message to your phone that allows them to install malware if you open it.
If you get a text message from an unknown sender, home or abroad, don’t make it easy for someone to steal your information.
Follow these simple and sensible tips so that you can enjoy a safer travel experience.