Mobile devices have become a huge part of day to day life for the average household. We use our smartphones to contact friends and family, laptops are used to conduct business, and even tablets are used to keep the kids entertained with fun games and movies. If you’re getting ready for a family vacation this summer, chances are one or more of these devices will be traveling with you.
While these modern conveniences are great for day to day activities, they are huge targets for thieves and hackers. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure that you’ve put all practices in to place to protect your devices, personal information, and identity.
Below are a few suggestions on how to accomplish this:
1. Virus Protection
There is nothing worse than accessing a site and finding out that it has malicious malware, spyware, or viruses that have now infected your computer. While many individuals know that they should protect their desktops at home, it is equally as important to make sure that your mobile devices are protected as well.
Trend Micro, a company that offers antivirus software for Mac computers and other devices, points out that such software provides protection while surfing online and utilizing social media accounts. If you already have virus protection on all of your mobile devices, making sure that your software has not expired is extremely important before you decide to travel.
2. Password Protection
Passwords are another way you can keep your mobile devices from being utilized by unauthorized parties while traveling. Should you lose your smartphone, laptop, or tablet, simply having security features in place such as a lock screen and password can ensure that thieves aren’t able to retrieve your information. When creating passwords, be sure that you don’t use something generic that can easily be figured out. Microsoft Windows provides suggestions on how to create strong passwords such as adding lower and upper case letters along with punctuation marks to make it difficult to decipher to outside parties.
3. Back Up Your Data
Make sure that you have back up data where you can store important information. Your child’s homework assignments, an important file from your employer, or even family photos while on vacation are likely all stored on your mobile devices. To ensure that this information is not lost forever, (in the event that your mobile device is lost or stolen) having a backup storage point is ideal. This can be in the form of a cloud storage account, an automatic data backup service through your mobile phone service provider, or even something as simple as a USB flash drive. This way you can retrieve the information from the backup storage point and not have to try and recreate files or memories (which would be complicated to do).
4. Watch Where You Access the Internet
Just about every coffee shop, library, and hotel have some form of free wi-fi connection that visitors can access to surf the web. While this is a convenience in some ways, it opens the doors for hackers to access personal information. Since wi-fi connections are shared by everyone in the vicinity, hackers can easily access information from your device without you knowing. Therefore, if you’re going to utilize a free wi-fi connection, be sure that you do not sign onto important accounts that could potentially lead to identity theft.
5. Waterproof Cases: Physical Protection
Even if you’ve taken care of the above-mentioned tips there is also the possibility that your device becomes destroyed or damaged as a result of water. Imagine sitting poolside watching the kids have a great time and suddenly your smartphone is splashed with water! This could wipe out your entire phone and leave you trying to figure out how to access your information. Instead of causing more of a headache on your vacation than necessary, why not go ahead and invest in waterproof cases? There are many waterproof cases on the market that are suitable for laptops, tablets, and smartphones so that you don’t have to worry about water (or sand) damaging your device.
When most people think about travel tips for family vacation, very few consider the necessity of protecting their mobile devices. However, with identity theft and hacking being at an all-time high, it is better to be safe than sorry. Make sure that you have installed and updated all virus protection software, strengthened your passwords, have a backup storage account for your files and data, and also watch where you surf the web to prevent the chances of having your devices hacked. Other than that, enjoy yourselves, take pictures, and create memories that will last a lifetime.