Submitted by: Martin Straub
Our technology inevitably comes with us when we travel. Most of us won’t even travel to the end of the block without our smartphones. When you go on a trip, not having your technology there when you need it can ruin your day.
Travel smarter and more securely by doing several checks before you go. Use our handy tech travel checklist. It can save you from suffering from lost devices, missing chargers, or a data breach.
1. Check Your Apps
Have you ever sat at an airport gate wondering why it looked so empty? You then found out that your gate had changed, and you had no idea. You go rushing to the other end of the concourse, hoping you’re not too late.
How did everyone else know about the gate change? They most likely had the app for the airline and received a notification.
Before you leave for a trip, make sure to download any apps you may need. It’s better to download them when you’re at home on your own Wi-Fi. If you wait until you’re at the airport, reception may be an issue.
Some of the apps you may want to grab or update before your trip are:
- Airline app
- Train app
- Hotel app
- Theme park app
- Camping ground app
- Weather app
- City tourism app
2. Check Your Cords & Adapters
People leave behind countless chargers and adapters every day. They litter airports, restaurants, and train stations around the world. Make sure to bring a backup charger for your laptop, tablet, or phone. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying a premium for a new charger in a gift shop. Your device could also go black if you lose its charger and can’t quickly get a new one.
3. Check Your Power
A great way to ensure you have the power you need is to buy a small charging battery. You can find these in most major retailers or online. They are small “blocks” that hold a charge and can power up a cell phone in a pinch.
Having this extra backup also helps you avoid potential juice-jacking ports. These are fake or compromised public USB charging ports. Hackers use them to steal your data when you plug in.
4. Check Your Mobile Plan
If you’re traveling out of the country, you’ll want to check your mobile plan. If you don’t have the ability to call internationally, then you may not be able to text or call home.
Carriers can add an international capability to your plan, but ask about pricing. It can get expensive if you’re on long calls or using mobile data. An alternative is to set up a VoIP app you can use with your office, friends, or family while you’re traveling. These enable both calls and SMS, but you do need an internet connection.
5. Check or Add a VPN
Free Wi-Fi may be a welcome site when you’re on the road, but it can also be dangerous. You don’t know who else is using that Wi-Fi. A hacker hanging out on the connection can easily steal your data if you’re not protected.
It’s better to use either your mobile carrier connection or a virtual private network (VPN) app. VPN plans are inexpensive and will keep your data encrypted, even if you’re on public Wi-Fi.
6. Check Your Backup
Unfortunately, mishaps occur when traveling. You may leave your phone behind on a boat, have your luggage lost, or get your device stolen while in a crowded area.
10% of all laptop thefts happen in airports.
Don’t lose all your data with the device! Back up your devices to the cloud or local storage before you travel. This ensures that you won’t lose the valuable information on your device. You also won’t need to think twice about enacting a remote “wipe my device” command if necessary.
7. Check Your Device Security
Make your devices as secure as possible before you hit the road. When we’re traveling, our minds are occupied by other things. So, you may not think to check your antivirus or avoid suspicious phishing links.
Protect your devices before you go using:
- DNS filtering
- Screen lock with passcode
- Sharing features turned off
- VPN application
- Find-My-Device feature turned on
8. Check Your Double-Checks
What do we mean by checking your double-checks? Use the buddy system as a backup. When the family is getting off a plane, each should check with the other that they have all their devices.
If you’re traveling alone, have a friend or family member check up by text. Did you grab your charger? Is your VPN turned on?
Those little reminders can go a long way toward avoiding digital travel nightmares.
Improve the Security of Your Devices Now
Don’t leave your devices unprotected. This could mean a breach of your banking app or personal data. Contact us for device security solutions to reduce your risk.
If you’d like additional information, we’re here to help. Contact SimplePowerIT at (509) 433-7606 for a free initial consultation.
About the author: Martin Straub has more than 20 years of experience developing, building, and maintaining frustration-free technology solutions. He founded SimplePowerIT in 2013 to focus exclusively on delivering frustration-free technology solutions to NCW businesses and nonprofits.