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Tips for Safe Holiday Travel with Your Devices

November 21, 2019

As the holiday season approaches, many of us will travel to visit family and friends. In airports, we’re often warned to keep our bags close, but we may not think about other risks.

In this digital age, we’re all connected with cell phones, tablets, and other devices. And when traveling, those devices help guide us to our destinations, make purchases, board a plane, and share our experiences on social media. Here are a few tips to help you safeguard your mobile devices and personal information while traveling:

Be Prepared Before You Leave
Make sure your mobile software is up-to-date and that your data is backed up, including contacts, photos, videos, and more. If you don’t already use a PIN, thumbprint ID, or face ID to unlock your cell phone, add it while traveling. Lock your phone as soon as you’re done using it. Tip: This is a good practice any time, not just while traveling.

Set Up Complex Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
Whether or not you’re traveling, it’s a good practice to set up complex passwords, don’t use them on multiple accounts, and update them regularly. Whenever possible, add additional layers of security such as two-factor authentication. If your device is stolen or hacked, this will help protect your information.

Be Wary of Free Wi-Fi Networks
Cybercriminals often use these free networks to access your online accounts and personal information. Look carefully at the network name and confirm with a staff person that it is the correct network. Sometimes, a network will be named very similarly to try to trick you. Avoid visiting any sites that require you to enter your personal, log-in, or banking information. That means no online shopping too. Save it for a more secure network.

Turn Off Auto-Connect Features
If you’re not using them, turn off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Make sure your devices are not discoverable while traveling unless you’re ready to connect to a network or pair with another device.

Don’t Charge Your Phone
Hackers can tamper with USB charging cords and ports, so avoid using a free charging station. Bring your own cord and wall plug, plugging directly into an outlet. Better yet, bring your own power bank and charge your device from it instead.

Keep an Eye on Your Devices
Never leave any of your devices unattended and keep them secure. It’s a good idea to not put your phone in your back pocket. Activate tracking apps like Find My iPhone in case your phone is stolen.


Cybersecurity While Traveling Tip Card

Staying Safe Online While On-the-Go this Holiday Season

Homeland Security’s Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign