We all want to make sure that we are able to stay safe and healthy when we’re traveling. Naturally, your first instinct is going to be to protect your personal safety, and then the safety of your belongings. But you might want to ensure that you’re more mindful about your online safety as well. Your online activities abroad can leave you open to some risks if you’re not careful. This can include anything from data theft to hacking and even to security threats back home.
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and be smart about how you use the internet and your tech when you’re traveling.
Be mindful of how much you share online
If you travel regularly, then you may well want to share pictures and stories of your time abroad with friends, family, and those who follow you on social media. However, you might want to stop short of making public posts when you’re away from home. Criminals have used social media to find out when the house is empty to commit break-ins and burglaries, before. You might think there’s little risk of this happening to you, but that could probably be said of everyone that it happens to, as well. If you don’t have a security team guarding the house while you’re away, save the posting until you get home.
Ensure the safety of any travel sites you use
People who travel a lot typically use a lot of online tools to facilitate that travel, whether it’s booking flights, hiring cars, finding a place to stay, or otherwise. You might end up using some smaller businesses if you’re hitting up some of the less frequently visited spots but you should always make sure that their websites have a security certificate to make sure that you’re not at risk of having your details stolen because you used an unsecured site. The easiest way to tell that a site has an up-to-date security certificate is to look for the https in the URL, not just http, and to keep an eye out for the little padlock icon that should appear beside the URL, too.
Secure your data
If you are privacy minded and you don’t want anyone, be they potential hackers, advertisers, or even governments tracking what you’re doing on the internet, then you want to make sure that they’re not able to keep up with your IP address. If you’re looking for how to change ip address on Mac, then the most common solution is going to be to use a virtual private network or VPN. What’s more, you can use the same software to access websites and content that you would be able to back home.
Watch what you’re connecting to
A lot of devices have automatic and remote connectivity features that allow them to access nearby networks, which can be super useful when you want to connect to your home or work networks without having to manually do it each time. Learn how to turn off your device’s auto-connect feature when traveling to make sure that you’re not joining any old public network where you don’t know who is able to see the data being transferred. If you’re using public networks or semi-public networks, like a cafe Wi-Fi that gives out the password to customers, at least do it with a VPN or some other form of security.
Be mindful of scams
ISPs and online services do what they can to track your information. Data is used by advertisers to hit you with targeted ads, emails, and offers. Not all of these are going to be legit. You’re likely to see very generous deals and offers flashed at you when browsing the net, but many of these are going to be phishing scams specifically designed to target travelers. Don’t fall for them and only use sites and services you’re familiar with.
Keep those devices secure
Make sure that your devices are physically secure, no matter where you are. Never leave your device unattended when you’re in a public place, airport, or any other kind of transport. If you have a laptop in a bag with a strap, keep a hold of that strap. If you are staying a hotel, make sure that they have a safe and make use of it, even if you’re the only one staying in the room.
It always pays to be more mindful of your safety and security while you’re abroad, and this includes your digital safety. With the tips above, you can make sure that you’re not inadvertently giving yourself something new to stress about.