How to Stay Safe Online When Traveling Alone

Like a Local Guide • 10 Aug, 2021

You probably take travel safety seriously, especially when you travel alone. But what about your online safety when you’re out there exploring the world?

Use a Password Manager

How many passwords are you using online? Ten? Fifty? More? Passwords remain an integral component of digital life despite the rise of biometric authentication.

Like most people, you probably try to create secure passwords. But remembering them and managing them can be a hassle. You may feel like the 75% of Americans who feel frustrated trying to keep track of their passwords.

A faster, safer, and easier way to upgrade your online safety is through a password manager. With one, you can keep strong passwords and protect your data from bank accounts, social media accounts, and more.

Even a simple password manager can help you generate and manage highly secure passwords with less of a hassle.

Encrypt Your Connection

Public Wi-Fi networks in airports, hotels, or cafes are common haunts for data thieves and hackers. Because these networks are not generally encrypted, they can expose your data.

Hackers can also redirect you to fake websites that emulate social media or other popular sites. There they make you unwittingly type your login data, stealing it for their own ends.

Consider using a VPN when you travel to mask your IP address and encrypt your traffic. By doing this, you’ll make it almost impossible for hackers to get to your personal data.

You may also want to limit the time you spend on public Wi-Fi networks while away from home. Do trip research beforehand and add it to an easy-to-access itinerary.

Be Wary of Bogus Travel Websites

Have a list of essential sites you use when you travel that cover all your research needs. Plan ahead the apps and sites you’ll need. If you do have to book another accommodation, buy tickets, or order a taxi, stick to trusted apps and sites.

And make sure that all websites you use have SSL encryption. Look for the small lock icon at the beginning of the URL bar in your web browser. This will add another layer of protection to your online wanderings.

Backup Your Devices in the Cloud Before You Leave

Despite all your care, accidents or mishaps can happen to your devices while you’re on the go. Think plunging into the pool with your phone in your shorts’ back pocket or losing your handbag in a taxi. Nobody ever thought this would happen to them—until it did!

Safeguard your digital data from accidents and other risks by backing up all your devices before you’re out the door. Make sure the backup is easy to access and that you’re backing up to a private folder.

Most operating systems have integrated backup options that allow you to backup apps, settings, and personal data. Do a full backup to make sure you can easily recover all your data.

Tip: You may also want to activate automated photo backup for your camera roll. Make sure you have a data plan large enough to handle this. Else set it up to upload photos only when you’re connected to a safe Wi-Fi network.

Email Yourself a Digital Copy of Your Travel Documents

Passport, tickets, hotel reservations—sending these documents to your email is a quick way to create a safe digital copy. You can simply take photos of them and mail them to yourself.

Also, while traveling, consider using digital copies of your documents whenever possible. Leave the originals in your hotel room or where they are safe.

Note: Email services often have an attachment size limit, so you may have to send multiple emails with all documents. Take the best resolution photo that you can without sacrificing size—you want the best quality photos you can get.

Enable “Find My Phone”

The “Find My Phone” feature will let you locate a misplaced, lost, or stolen phone. Through this feature, you can also disable the device or remotely wipe your personal data from it.

Android and iOS have this feature built-in, but you can also use standalone apps that provide it. Just make sure to activate it before you leave.

Consider Removing Location Data from Your Photos

By default, Android and iOS devices embed location data into photos. Sharing these photos online can make your location easy to track. Not all social media sites remove this data either.

You can disable location data from being added to your photos. For example, here’s how to do it for Android. Being cautious about who you share your whereabouts with can reduce risks, especially if you plan to travel extensively.

In the end, it’s not only your toothbrush that you don’t want to forget before going on holiday. But also your online security that you don’t want to neglect.

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