There can be many pitfalls when going on holiday with your digital devices. Security expert Janus R. Nielsen from MYSecurityCenter gives his best tips on how to get safely through the holiday with your smartphone, tablet, laptop or credit cards.
1. Remember to backup all your files, emails and pictures before departure. It can be to an external hard disk or in the cloud. This makes you able to go on vacation with peace of mind if your stuff gets stolen.
2. Ensure you have written down the correct contact number to call if your card is stolen and you want to block it. Save it on your telephone and on a sticker in your suitcase so you can quickly find it. Alternatively, store important telephone numbers, passwords and pin numbers on a small and discreet USB drive. Some of them are password protected and data encrypted making it ideal for storing such important information whilst travelling.
3. Make sure you have installed a security app on your smartphone, that protects your data should you lose it. Many security apps today have – in addition to antivirus – a number of features that make it possible to communicate with your lost mobile by sending it a text message from another phone. You can activate an alarm remotely, block access to the content and delete important files, so that the thief has a harder time getting access to your data. These features can be found in for instance MYAndroid Protection, which also has a 30 days free trial version. Remember to use a password (besides your pin code), so your phone, tablet or maybe PC locks automatically when it is not in use.
4. There are also anti-theft programs for computers, they can detect, encrypt the content and unlock them. A study has shown that in the U.S. alone there were 12,000 lost laptops per week and 600,000 a year in U.S. airports, so it is worth taking precautions.
5. Turn off automatic roaming on your phone and tablet, if you do not want to pay high fees for using the mobile network on the Internet abroad. You can usually sign up for free on the net using wifi connections, perhaps at the hotel, which should be safe. If you have an iPhone, you can turn on “iMessage”, so you can send free SMS messages to others with iPhones. Otherwise, you can download the app “Whats app” that allows you to send text messages, images and video clips for both iPhones and other smartphones for free. However, note that if you have turned data roaming off, you will only be able to send iMessage and Whats app for free via wifi abroad.
6. Select the local currency and not your home currency if you pay with your credit card. There seems to be money to save by selecting the currency of your holiday destination.
7. Download apps like Skype or Viber if you want to call for free over wifi abroad. Otherwise you can check the roaming prices before departure, so you know what it will cost you if you need to call or send text messages the traditional way. July 1st 2012, an EU directive came into force on international calls, so it has now become cheaper to make calls within the EU.