The peak summer holiday season was quite disappointing for most of us. As a result, many have rescheduled trips for later in the year, hoping to catch a little sunshine during half term or later.

So as you prepare your technology for your next holiday, you should also consider how to use your devices safely too.

Lock your devices securely

Portable electronics have always been popular targets for pickpockets and thieves because they are relatively high value and are easy to sell. However, the information we store on our phones – credit card numbers, passwords, tickets etc – may be even more valuable when sold to cybercriminals.

Obviously you should take great care to protect your devices against theft (put them in the hotel safe when they are not being used). You should also take steps on the device itself. Most smartphones and tablets now offer biometric protections like facial recognition or fingerprints to lock the device. Make sure that these are set-up enabled; even if your device is stolen, criminals will not be able to access the information stored on it.

For other devices like laptops, make sure you choose a strong logon password. You should probably also review the passwords protecting your online accounts to ensure they are properly protected too.

Download Panda Free Antivirus

Use a VPN

As you travel around you will encounter all kinds of free WiFi networks – but how do you know they can be trusted? Hackers often set up fake WiFi networks in public places, allowing them to capture all the data that passes over the network. This technique is very effective for stealing credit card numbers and passwords for instance.

You should always avoid sensitive activities like banking on public WiFi networks. If you have to transfer money, pay a bill or check your balance, use your bank’s app on a safer network, like that provided by your hotel which is likely to be safer. You can further improve your security using a trusted VPN provider that will encrypt web traffic to prevent hackers from intercepting it.

Setting up a VPN doesn’t have to be hard either – you can find out more here.

Install anti-malware

Malware is a global problem, so your smartphone is still at risk on holiday. Having up-to-date anti-malware installed on all of your devices is extremely important.

These tools can identify and remove computer viruses – and even stop them from being installed in the first place. Download a free trial of Panda Dome to ensure your device is protected before you jet off to the sun.

Enjoy your holiday

There’s always a lot to do before heading away on holiday, but preparing your devices is well worth the time and effort. Installing a VPN and anti-malware on smartphones, tablets and laptops will keep your sensitive private information safe – even if a thief does manage to steal them.

And once you know your devices are properly protected, you can get on with enjoying your holiday.