Summer road trip season officially started on Memorial Day weekend, but you are bound to take a trip throughout the summer months for family vacations, college visits, weddings, and romantic getaways. Vacations can be fun but traveling can put you and your family at risk for identity theft and credit card scams.
Fortunately, in our digital age, your smartphone can play a big role in helping protect you from the dangers of cybercrime when you travel. Want to keep you and your family safe? Check out these quick and easy tips to keep you out of the crosshairs of criminals
1. Pay for everything with your smartphone. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are two of the most secure ways to make payments. For the gas pump, you can avoid credit card skimmers designed to steal your credit card information. For shopping, your information is encrypted meaning criminals won't be able to wirelessly steal your card information. If you don't have Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, your debit/credit card should allow you to tap to pay at most major retailers. Use it and stay safe.
2. Use the hotel app to unlock your room. If you're staying at a major hotel this summer, download their app and enable the feature that will let you store your room key on your phone. Room keys are easy to lose and steal. If a criminal steals your card and knows your room number, you are in trouble. Room keys stored on your phone are safer. One less thing to worry about.
3. Use a Wi-Fi hot spot rather than that free wireless network. Not all free wireless networks are bad, but when traveling you never want to take a chance that that free Wi-Fi is actually a criminal's computer collecting your data. If at all possible, use a Wi-Fi hotspot for the Internet when traveling as it allows a secure connection that criminals won't be able to spy on.
4. If you HAVE to use free Wi-Fi, download a VPN. Your cellular signal won't be available everywhere you travel and sometimes getting Internet is a must. A VPN or virtual private network creates a secure tunnel for your data when you're on public wireless networks which means the bad guys can't see what you're doing.
5. No public computers. Public computers pose no threat, but what if you forget to log out of your secure accounts. It means the next person who uses it has access to your sensitive data.
6. Emergency apps and Road Assistance apps are a must. Emergency apps keep you alerted to the weather in your area. Mishaps occur on the road, so you need to be able to contact someone if you're stranded.
I hope you can use these tips to help you stay safe when you're traveling. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!
Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone.