This week’s blog features the article “The Ultimate Checklist for Getting Your Phone Travel-Ready” by Gadget Hacks.
Traveling for work can put you at risk for a data breach. Experts strongly recommend not connecting to unsecured public wi-fi networks anywhere in the world, not only at coffee shops but also airports and hotels. Cybercriminals thrive off of unaware business professionals and the general population who do not take necessary precautions to protect their mobile devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.) while traveling. Another great option is to invest in cybersecurity safety by connecting your devices through Microsoft Office 365’s programs. Storing your important documents in the cloud will make your data accessible, safe, and secure on the go!
Check out the ultimate checklist for getting your network devices travel ready!
1. Update Your Systems Software
“Your phone should always be updated to the latest system software available. Not only are you missing out on any new features in later updates, but OEMs and carriers add security patches to updates to squash vulnerabilities found in previous software versions.
While using an outdated phone can pose its own issues at home, while traveling, it can result in an all-out nightmare. If you need to update your phone, but find yourself in a location where you can’t download the latest update, you’re totally out of luck. We talk about finding free Wi-Fi later in the article, but even then, your closest option might not be fast enough for downloads.
2. Update All Apps You’ll Use
In the same vein, make sure all of the apps on your device — or, at least the apps you know you’ll use on your trip — are fully updated. You don’t want old bugs or issues stopping you from finding the best pizzeria around. Some apps won’t even let you continue using the app until you update. The best deterrent is to update, update, update.
New updates come out all the time. Best practice? Reload that updates page minutes before you leave the comfort of your home Wi-Fi. That way, you’ll be as up-to-date as you can be, and won’t need to worry about your ride-sharing app betraying you in a strange, new city.
Sometimes, you might be in a rush to get out the door. In those cases, it’s better to prepare now by making sure your apps are set to auto-update. On iPhone, go to Settings –> iTunes & App Stores –> Updates (under Automatic Downloads). On Android, open up the Play Store, tap the hamburger icon, select “Settings,” and you’ll find the “Auto-update apps” setting there.
3. Take Control of Your Data & Time Settings
If you’re traveling across time zones, whether domestically or internationally, it can mess with your phone and its apps. Make sure before you leave your home time that your phone’s “Date & Time” settings are set to “Automatic.” You can also manually change the settings to your new time zone.
On iPhone, you’ll find these settings in Settings –> General –> Date & Time (note: “Date & Time” is locked to “Set Automatically” if using Screen Time). On some Android devices, they’ll be in Settings –> System –> Date & time. On others, in Settings –> General Management –> Date and time. Again, it may vary slightly across Android devices.
4. Preparing to Spend Money – Set Up Mobile Wallet
Money is a universal language, even if currencies differ. No matter your trip, you’re going to be spending your cash — cabs, food, accommodations, maybe a little shopping — they all require a method of payment. Setting up your phone to handle these payments, no matter where in the world you may be, can make paying for your trip much easier.
Digital wallets increase security when making payments. You aren’t sharing your card or bank info with the vendor, so you don’t need to worry about card or identity theft. Scammers hate this one neat trick. Even if you lose your phone, no one will be able to use your digital money without your fingerprint or face.”
5. Know the Limitations
“Mobile payments are a no-brainer. At least, if you’re traveling in your home country. Going abroad complicates the situation. While mobile payments can make it easy to avoid exchanging your country’s currency for another, you might find that your bank or credit card issuer will charge you fees for using cards in other countries.
While you should always contact your financial institutions before traveling out of the country, you should also check in about any unknown fees that come with using your card with vendors abroad. If you have the opportunity, it’s best to sign up for a card with no international transaction fees. However, that will be impractical for many people. Just make sure you catch up on your card’s rules and regulations, so any fees you do incur aren’t unexpected.”
Check out two of our previous blogs to learn more about the dangers of connecting to public Wifi!