The summer time has rolled around, and you’re jetting off to catch some well earned sun and relaxation on holiday. In your pocket is your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or other smartphone. The last thing you want is for your holiday to be ruined by something unexpected happening to the most important gadget in your life. Your Samsung or Apple phone needs to be protected from both thieves and hackers; here’s how you can keep it safe while travelling.
Make Use of Your Hotel Safe
Most good quality hotels will provide you with a small safe in your room. You can usually find it in the wardrobe or inside one of the cupboards. Figure out how to use it, and then keep your phone locked in there whenever you don’t need it (if you’re heading off to the pool, for example). This will prevent the phone getting stolen by one of the staff or by a burglar. If you don’t have a safe, ask the reception staff if they can hold onto it.
Keep It Close to You
All it takes is for you to leave your phone out of sight for one second, and someone could snatch it. Never leave the phone sitting on a chair, table or wall. Don’t hold the phone out at arm’s length when walking along. Keep the phone inside your pocket or bag whenever you’re not using it, and when you are using it, hold onto it tightly. Don’t leave it in the open back pocket of your jeans, as it will be very easy for someone to take it out. Watch out for thieves who use knives to cut through the straps on bags.
Get Your Insurance Sorted Out
Before you go on holiday, make sure you have insurance that will cover the cost of a stolen phone. Most travel insurance packages do not cover lost phones, and to get one that does often requires you to pay an extra fee. These policies can also come with unexpected terms, so make sure to check them before you get the policy and head abroad. For example, some policies won’t cover a phone stolen from an aeroplane cargo hold, because they argue that you should have kept the phone in your pocket rather than placing it in hold luggage.
Avoid Local Scammers
Sometimes thieves, often working in gangs, will use scams to get people to make their valuables more vulnerable. For example, one thief might distract you while asking for directions while another steals your phone. Try to find out about any local scams, and stay on your toes, looking out for suspicious behaviour. If someone accosts you, and your phone is in your pocket, keep your hand in there to block potential thieves. Don’t let anyone borrow your phone to make a call.
Backup Your Important Data
Before you leave home, make sure that all of the important data on your phone (addresses, photos, videos, personal details etc) is backed up so that, in the event that your phone is stolen, broken or lost, all of this important data will still be safe. The backup can then be restored when you’ve got a new phone. It’s best to have more than one backup: one on another physical device like a laptop, and one in the cloud, just to make sure.
Keep It Safe from Hackers
Your phone is like a part of you, and it contains sensitive personal data that, if stolen, could be used by online criminals to blackmail you. You need to keep this data safe from hackers. Update all of your phone’s applications as well as the operating system to make sure you have the latest security patches.
Turn off location services and apps that use location so that criminals can’t track you. Watch out for public wifi hotspots; these are notoriously insecure and so should not be used for any sensitive purposes like buying something with a credit card. Many phones will have a feature that allows you to erase the memory if it gets stolen, so you know that your personal details are no longer on there.