Phones evolved a lot during the last few years. I witnessed all this technological advance, and I am happy that we have powerful mobile devices today that we can use for several purposes. But we need to also keep them safe as smartphones can be vulnerable. Listed below are six things I do to keep my phone secure while traveling. I selected these from a longer list as I believe they are the most important security tips for smartphones.
Photo source: Pixabay
1. Avoid using free Wi-Fi – or at least NOT accessing home banking, PayPal, and e-mail accounts
I am all pro free Wi-Fi. I mean, when I book a hotel, I look for this option. I am also happy when I can use a coffee house’s or a restaurant’s Wi-Fi to go a bit online.
But it is also true that often these free Wi-Fi networks can be hacked and used by hackers to harm those that use them. Yes, I watched CSI: Cyber, but that is not the main reason why I pay attention to security.
Just as I chose to protect my blog – by having special scripts on my server, by using the paid version of Wordfence, by keeping it updated, etc. – I pay attention to the security of my smartphone, especially since I have there important data, photos, etc. I think it’s kind of obvious for everyone that free Wi-Fi networks can be exploited, so I always avoid accessing several websites – like home banking, PayPal, e-mail, etc. as I wouldn’t want my passwords stolen and accounts hacked.
2. Use antivirus
I remember the beginnings when smartphones were considered secured. And I also remember reading about the first attacks, the first hacks, the first data stolen from mobiles. Like I said, things evolve, and while I’ll never understand why someone could do such a thing (I mean, I get it, money, but beyond that, why?), I try to avoid problems so I use an antivirus app.
Nowadays you can choose a good mobile antivirus that will help you protect your smartphone. What’s even better is that you can choose from a wide variety of free android antivirus apps so that in the end, you can have which provider you prefer.
3. Keep my phone up to date
I used to say that updates aren’t really necessary. And they annoyed me as they are released quite often. But then I realized that many of the new versions have security patches. So… I started paying attention to updates and always perform them – for the mobile phone and for the apps. I may not like the newest version (I have some apps that have a new version that I like less than their previous one), but I know that it is an improved one, so I have my phone up-to-date.
4. Use a pin and a pattern
Though I don’t like having to waste time every time I open my phone, I use this safety measure and I think it fits among the top things I do to keep my phone secure while traveling. I always try to keep my pattern safe, away from other people’s eyes. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
5. Never click on suspicious links, pop-ups, etc.
I’m guessing it happened to everyone: accessing a website, looking for some information or… whatever, and a new link opening in a new window. I always close those. And if there are apk or other types of files that it wants me to download – or click on – I never do that either. Plus, the anti-virus warns about suspicious links or potential harmful ones, so… even better. Again, one of the important things I do to keep my phone secure while traveling.
No list of security tips for smartphones would be complete without this recommendation 🙂 I wouldn’t want to lose everything I have on my phone. And it doesn’t have to be stolen to be lost. It can also broke. So, periodically, I do a backup of my phone. I also download my photos from time to time and save them to an external hard drive. It’s better to have them in two places than nowhere.
Like I said, these are the most important things I do to keep my phone secure while traveling. I also implement other security measures – useful for desktop/laptop and mobile devices – but I think that using at least the six recommendations above will help you keep the data on your phone safer.
On a broader level, safety while traveling should be important on all levels: managing your data, learning how to be safe from pickpockets, avoiding bad neighborhoods, etc. While it is true that there are different types of travel for different people, keeping the phone secure while traveling should be a priority for everyone who goes on trips with mobile devices.