With the prevalence of smartphones and public Wi‐Fi networks, identity theft is a real concern for travelers. You want to be able to use your phone because you can’t seem to live without it. However, you are correctly concerned that accessing a public network while you are checking your email could deliver disastrous results. This is why it is always a good idea to avoid public Wi‐Fi access if at all possible when you are traveling.
There are some other smart travel safety tips that keep your identity, your possessions, and your home safe while you are abroad. The following 4 travel hacks can give you a level of self‐assurance and peace of mind that you have done everything you can to make for the safest travel possible.
1 – Add Password Protection to Your Smartphone
This may seem like a no‐brainer. You may already have fingerprint encryption or a password which is required to access your phone. The same may be true for your tablet or laptop. Remarkably, less than half of all smartphone users have some type of password or other safety encryption programmed into their devices. This means anyone can grab your phone and begin to access your personal information.
Turn to YouTube if you don’t know how to password protect your phone or tablet. You may also ask your smartphone provider for help. There are device tracking applications for Android and iOS tablets and phones that allow you to shut your device down if it is stolen. Do everything you can to protect your identity and financial information on your phone and tablet.
2 – Burglar‐Proof Your Home
Don’t forget about the safety of your home while you are away. Make sure you stop mail delivery service, even if you are just going to be away for a week. Arrange for someone to house sit if you have a friend or family member that is willing to help you out. At the very least, install automated light‐control devices that turn lights on and off on a schedule while you are away. Don’t be so anxious to get out of town that you forget to secure your residence before you do.
3 – Don’t Let Facebook Ruin Your Travel Plans
When you announce to the world that you are finally on that dream vacation and you will be going on specific dates, you are virtually begging someone to break into your home. Don’t fall under the assumption that thieves only target wealthy people. When they know that someone is away from home, that home becomes a burglar magnet.
Additionally, as you are touring the ruins of Rome, don’t constantly update social media about your daily progress and whereabouts. There are too many horror stories about thieves and con artists using social media vacation updates to ruin what could have been an experience of a lifetime. If you absolutely must share your travel experiences on social media, make sure only your friends and family can see your posts and updates.
4 – Never Bring More Than You Need
Would‐be thieves sometimes hang around the entrances to hotels and motels. Guess who gets targeted? The people with the most bags and visible jewelry end up with more vacation horror stories than those with minimal bags and possessions. Never travel with more than you need.