Almost 50 million Americans travel over the holidays. Before you order your turkey and book those plane tickets, take these easy privacy precautions to assure a festive trip and stress-free travel.
1) Get a mobile VPN
When you travel, you’ll find ample opportunity to connect to public WiFi hotspots in cafes, hotels, airports, and even on airplanes. What you may not realize is how exposed your personal data can be to attacks by potential hackers lurking on unsecured networks. If you are accessing social media sites or online shopping, they can easily intercept passwords and credit card information.
A VPN creates a secure tunnel that encrypts personal data so it’s obscured when you browse on a public network. It also protects apps on your phone and hides your location so you can access your favorite social media sites from wherever in the world you call home.
Don’t just install a free VPN with positive customer reviews! Make sure that the VPN you are using has a track record for protecting people’s privacy. It’s also safer to use a VPN that doesn’t keep logs and that you pay for, since it’s less likely that your VPN provider is selling your data to third-parties to generate revenue.
2) Password-protect your phone and apps
In the event that you misplace your phone, make sure that others can’t get into your phone and access your text, email, and social media apps. Even if you don’t lose your phone, you may step away from it and leave it vulnerable to people who want to snoop!
You can set a passcode or turn on Fingerprint or Touch ID in your phone settings. An app locker also protects you by only opening your apps when you enter a passcode or use Fingerprint or Touch ID.
3) Lock away private pictures
When you are visiting friends and family, you’ll no doubt pull out your phone to show someone a photo. Don’t risk an embarrassing moment when you have to swipe past sensitive pictures meant for your eyes only.
Photo vaults secure your personal photos behind a password-protected a PIN code. You can import pictures into your locked photo vault and delete them from your camera roll or gallery so you never need to worry about them being seen by others.
4) Back up your IDs
When you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to have back-up copies of important documents in case your wallet, purse, or luggage is stolen or lost. Having your credit cards handy and accessible in your phone is also convenient for doing your holiday shopping on the go.
Store pictures of your driver’s license, passport, credit card, and health insurance cards in a password-protected photo vault (see above) that only you can access for safekeeping.
If you’ve taken the steps above to protect your privacy, you can get back to the business of wrapping presents and making fruitcake. Have a happy, restful and safe holiday season!