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With the world slowly starting to open up again, one of the first things on the public's priority list is a holiday in the sun. Business trips are also starting to become more frequent, as people get used to moving around again. After a year of lockdown, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of travelling and forget to take security measures. Over a third of UK holidaymakers will experience theft abroad, recent studies show. When you are aboard, there is also a greater risk of digital fraud or being hacked happening. If you are planning a trip away this year, here are some tips for staying safe and secure during a holiday.
Whilst it may seem straightforward, keeping your devices safely locked away and protected from view is a great way to stay safe on holiday. Keep your suitcase locked and consider fixing a small lock onto your handbag to avoid pickpockets. Also, before you head abroad, turn your ‘Find my Phone’ setting on and test it works. Both Android and Apple have this feature, allowing you to lock your smartphone and track its whereabouts if it goes missing. If these measures aren’t really helping you feel safer abroad this summer, try taking some extra steps.
If where you are traveling to is remote or has bad signal, carrying a GPS tracker will provide extra security. It's easy to forget smartphones lose battery and are easily lost, leaving you stranded in an unknown area with no means of communication. Carrying a GPS tracker will let you have that extra backup and peace of mind if your smartphone fails. GPS trackers can be built into your phone case or come in a small compact size, meaning you can carry one in any way you desire. GPS trackers usually come with the ability to preprogram an alert to send to a chosen contact, if you are in danger.
Another security risk you can protect yourself from on holiday is digital hacking. Cybercriminals can easily create fake networks which appear to be official wifi for the area you are in. Through this, hackers have access to your private data and passwords. It is always best to try and use your smartphone’s internet access, rather than an untrusted network. Using poorly set up wifi, perhaps in an airport or a coffee shop can make you vulnerable to hacking. An option you could consider is the use of a VPN, or a Virtual Private Network. A VPN service encrypts your internet connection, so all data coming from your device is not readable. This makes using public wifi safer as your data cannot be intercepted.
If you would like to take an extra step towards full smartphone protection, smartphone defense software may be your best option. Standard commercial security software won't be able to routinely defend your smartphone against new, malicious programs trying to hack your device. This software routinely checks your device to detect spying software or security vulnerabilities your device may have. This kind of software will be particularly useful abroad, when you are operating in a different currency.