How To Keep Your Phone Secure While Traveling

August 9, 2018By Bjoern Greif

When you’re on holiday, your phone is your best friend. It functions as your map, guidebook and camera – plus you can make your friends jealous by sending snaps of you lounging by the pool. But even on holiday you should beware of the risks lurking online (and offline). Follow these tips and you’ll stay safe when you’re abroad.
 

Preparations

  • Write down your phone’s 15-digit device number (IMEI), serial number and SIM card number, plus your provider’s hotline number. This information will come in handy if your phone gets lost or stolen.
  • Protect your device with a PIN, fingerprint, pattern or password against unauthorized access. Tips for creating strong passwords that you can easily remember can be found here.
  • Make sure the firmware of the device and all installed apps are up to date.
  • Enable your remote access feature (Android: Find My Device; iOS: Find My iPhone), so you can remotely locate, lock or delete your phone.
  • Back up your personal data or the entire system (AndroidiOS).

 

On Vacation

  • When entering your PIN, pattern or password to unlock your phone, make sure no one is watching you.
  • Avoid unencrypted connections to public Wi-Fi hotspots, e.g. at airports, cafés or hotels. Use a VPN if you want to access public Wi-Fi.
  • Make sure you use a secure connection (https:// in front of the web address) before you enter sensitive data.
  • Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you are not using it.
  • Don’t lend your device to strangers and never leave it unattended.

 

What To Do If Your Device Gets Lost Or Stolen

  • If you lose your phone, try calling it first. An honest finder might answer your call. Or try to locate your device via the remote access function.
  • If you are sure the device is gone for good, lock it or delete it remotely.
  • Have your provider block your SIM card. If information relating to your bank account or credit card is stored on the device, call your bank to block the associated cards. Additionally, make sure to change all your passwords.
  • If the device is stolen, you should report the theft to the local police.

One final tip: Don’t announce your holiday trip publicly on social media and refrain from posting photos on the go. Professional burglars often search the web for potential victims and are more than happy to pay a visit to an empty home.

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