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When you travel, you need to secure your mobile devices and practice safe online behavior. Keeping your electronic devices secure is as important as keeping your passport safe. At home, the router handling WiFi shields your individual devices from undesirable traffic. They don’t have that protection while traveling. You need to take certain measures to minimize your risks. A few simple precautions can go a long way.

credit card security while traveling and paying with phone app

Before You Travel

There are certain tips for cyber security you should consider before you leave home. You don’t want to be doing things like downloading updates when you’re already on a flight.

  • Limit the number of devices you take with you, as this limits your vulnerability to risks.
  • Make backups of your important data. You can back it up on the cloud, on an external device, or both. Don’t take information you don’t really need and encrypt sensitive information on devices. 
  • Update your operating system software and mobile apps on your devices. Turn on “automatic updates” if you keep forgetting to do this. Updates often include fixes to defend against the latest cyber threats. It’s worth checking that your anti-malware solutions will update automatically. Enable a firewall on every device if possible.
  • Set up the ‘find my device’ feature on all your devices, such as your mobile phone and your laptop. Both Android and iOS offer tracking options. If you lose your device, you can wipe it remotely or leave a message on the screen for someone who finds it.
  • You may want to disable a feature like “location tracking” when you’re going to be away from home.

When you’re at home, you can ensure cybersecurity by knowing how to enter WiFi router settings on Mac system. This enables you to set up a firewall, change your WiFi password, and block access to certain networks to improve network security. When traveling, you have to follow techniques such as those mentioned above to ensure cybersecurity. 

backpackers secure their travels

On Your Travels

Here are seven tips for computer security while traveling:

1. Disable auto-connect and Bluetooth

You don’t want your devices to connect automatically to available wireless networks or other devices like vehicle infotainment systems. This can give cybercriminals access to your devices. Only connect to wireless and Bluetooth networks when you need to.

2. Think before you connect to public wireless hotspots

Don’t use public wireless hotspots in airports, cafes, or hotels if you can avoid them. Don’t connect to them to do banking or other activities where you need to provide confidential or sensitive information. Rather, use a virtual private network (VPN) that uses encryption to access the internet securely. Using one creates a secure connection between your device and the internet, and this option has become much more accessible and affordable than before. 

3. Don’t trust publicly accessible computers

Computers accessible to you in a hotel or at a library may not be secure. They may not have updated anti-virus software or be running the latest operating systems. Cybercriminals may have installed malicious software on them. For example, keylogger malware could capture your keystrokes and give cyber criminals access to information such as your passwords or credit card numbers.

4. Turn off location services

Turn off location services when you aren’t using them, and think twice about sharing your location on social media. Even photos can expose your location and show thieves there’s an opportunity to burgle your home.

5. Use strong passwords and 2FA authentication

Make sure all your devices have strong passwords, and don’t store them on the device. An extra security feature such as a fingerprint or facial scan keeps your phone or laptop locked if you misplace it or it is stolen. Don’t use the “remember me” option for passwords and log out when you’re done browsing. When you browse, certain information gets stored that you may want to remove. To do this, you need to clear cookies, cache, and the browser history

6. Ensure physical safety 

Lock your devices up in a hotel safe or another safe place if you don’t take them along with you. Don’t leave them unattended or give them to strangers to look after. Thieves often target travelers and may search your room while you’re out and about.

If you carry your devices in a taxi or public transport like a train, make sure you keep your eye closely on them. One of the safe traveling tips recommended by many travelers is to stay aware and alert at all times. Ensure that no one is sitting close enough to observe you typing in confidential information. Turn your devices off when you go through airport security.

7. Use caution when clicking, downloading, or charging

It’s always important to use caution whenever clicking or downloading unknown links. Delete emails from unknown sources or that you think may be suspicious, and empty your trash can. Before you install any new applications, make sure they are from reliable developers and review the instructions. Rather, use your own plug and cable to charge your devices that share direct-to-USB port charging stations. 


It is always better to be safe than sorry when traveling. Taking the above precautions will help to ensure that your devices stay safe and secure on the journey and in any destination you visit. While the threats constantly evolve, these simple steps can protect you from the most common dangers. Since gadgets and other electronic devices are an essential part of every travel kit, you must familiarize yourself with basic information on resolving the issues.

Related: Travel Hacks

Liya Kravchenkin
About the Author: Liya Kravchenkin

Liya Kravchenkin is an experienced portrait photographer. She has worked with clients worldwide and has even traveled to more than 50 countries. Liya loves photography because it allows her to capture a moment that can never be repeated. Liya also enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures, and seeing the world’s unique natural wonders. Her favorite travel memories are from swimming with dolphins in the Galapagos and eating cheesecake in New York City.

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