The summer of 2022 is expected to be the first-time people will be taking a proper vacation since the pandemic started in 2019. The shockingly expensive gas prices, high inflation, war in Europe, flight cancellations and restrictions, and the somewhat reappearing covid-19 cases in Asia are not stopping people from planning trips away from home this summer. One way or another, the masses will be vacationing this summer… and it all sounds exciting, but it also comes with some dangers that travelers need to keep in mind while venturing around.
Accessible WiFi networks, and open WiFi networks in general, can be hazardous. Hackers, and the IT admins of those networks, have ways to monitor the traffic that comes in and out of those public WiFi networks. The traffic can include everything, such as passwords and social security numbers. So, if you plan on using public WiFi, keep in mind that anything you are sharing on your smartphone while connected to the network might be something you are unintentionally communicating to a third party.
Public access PCs
You may be passing around a library, or you may wait for a connection flight at an airport, and you may feel tempted to spend some time on a publicly accessible PC. Browsing and reading the news might be an excellent way to kill time and preserve your phone’s battery. Still, if you need to do something important that requires you to type in sensitive information, you may want to think twice before typing or connecting your smart device or USB stick to the public PC. Hackers might be logging all the info you enter and your connected device might be getting infected with malicious code while you browse the internet.
Social media and location sharing in general
Cyber security is essential but is not the only thing you should keep in mind while traveling. Sharing your location on social media could point out to troublemakers that you are not home. A potential intruder who knows you are not home might stop by your electrical switchboard, power down the electricity to deactivate cameras such as Nest, and then rob your home while watching your live stream from 10k miles away. So, sharing your location is not advisable.
Call your bank
Calling your bank to tell them you will be traveling is a must. This is how you will ensure you won’t end up with a blocked credit card abroad. Unfortunately, if you do not tell your bank that you will be visiting a particular country, they may restrict your account and tell you that the only way to unblock it is to stop by a branch. And this may not be as easy as it sounds if you are already on your way to visit Taj Mahal in India.
Turn your ‘find my device feature’ on
Sadly, the chances of losing or damaging your device increase significantly when you are away from home. Making sure you can find your device if things go sideways is essential. Features such as iOS ‘Find My’ need to be turned on if you want to be able to track your device in case of an incident or if you want someone close to you always to know where you are. Sharing your permanent location with your kids or friend might be a good idea – the chances of losing each other significantly decrease if you have access to such technology.
Travelling is fun, but it can also become a nightmare if you are unprepared. Ensuring you have antivirus software installed on your connected devices is vital for enjoying your time off. It is also crucial for your OS and apps to be updated and for your data to be backed up safely. If you don’t upload your content to the cloud, you are risking losing all these precious images in case of an accident. smart devices get stolen or lost way too often when you are away from home. Being prepared for all scenarios is not a must, but it is certainly advisable as it may save you time and money in the long run.