How to Protect Your Data When You Travel

Keep your smartphone or tablet safe while traveling for business or pleasure

It seems like you’re always on the move during the holidays. Shopping for gifts and groceries, going to parties and plays, hitting the highway or catching a flight—the sit-down-and-relax time goes out the window at the end of the year. Happily, the fun to be had and the holiday spirit carries most of us through the tiring bits. But data thieves, too, are out and about during the holidays, and losing your favorite pieces of technology or having the important information on them stolen can surely turn anyone into a Scrooge.

So whether you’re just going to the corner store for another can of cranberry sauce or travelling across the country to visit family, these tips, apps, accessories and services can help you stay in a festive mood and ensure you ring in the New Year on a good note.

Use common sense

Make sure your devices are with you at every stop. Just as with your wallet and your keys, a quick, periodic inventory of your devices can be the first step to preventing a disaster.

Also, pay attention to what you choose to download to your devices. Apps can carry Trojan viruses that record keystrokes and steal your password or record financial info when you use your smartphone to make purchases and pay bills. Download apps only from trusted sources. While an app such as Verizon Mobile Security can help thwart malicious activity, always think before you click “install.”

Know your network 

Simply being aware of your environment can be crucial to keeping your data secure. The public Wi-Fi available at many restaurants, bars, hotels and airports is convenient, but it’s not always encrypted, so you’ll want to avoid mobile financial transactions when connected to these open networks.

If you are staying at a hotel and connect to the Wi-Fi offered there, be wary of pop-ups that suggest you update your software to continue—it could be an attempt to trick you into installing malware.

And remember, even paid public Wi-Fi doesn’t necessarily mean it offers a secure connection. Instead, consider equipping yourself with a Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot and using an encrypted Wi-Fi connection to it at such public places, so you can skip the open, potentially more vulnerable networks.

Fly smart 

Know that when you put your devices into airplane mode, that also means they can no longer be reached—and your data can no longer be wiped for protection—from a remote location (using services such as Verizon Mobile Security Premium). So take care to deactivate airplane mode as soon as possible after landing (given aircraft safety rules and regulations for use of digital devices).

Prepare for the worst 

Nobody plans on losing their devices, but if that happens, it can be all too easy for your data to fall into the wrong hands. There are a few steps you can take to protect that information in cases where you no longer have access to your device.

First, make sure you use a password, pin or pattern to unlock your phone that isn’t easy to figure out.

Services such as Verizon Mobile Security Premium can help you remotely locate and lock your device, sound an alarm even if the ringer is off, or even wipe personal data.

Verizon Backup Assistant Plus and Verizon Cloud can both store copies of your media files and other important information, so you can restore that data to a new device. And Verizon Total Equipment Coverage can help you get a replacement device quickly and easily—as fast as a day. You also get the benefit of an extended warranty that goes beyond the life of the manufacturer’s to protect you from mechanical and electrical defects.

This article was written by an author contracted by Verizon’s Insider's Guide to provide helpful information on wireless technology. The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless.

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