8 Ways To Secure Your Device When Traveling Abroad

One of the worst things imaginable when traveling abroad is losing your device, whether to theft or loss. All your valuable information, travel images and more could be gone in an instant and knowing how to protect your belongings in advance is the first step to preventing that.

Safeguard your device

At times you might be wearing an item without pockets, not carrying a travel bag or even going to the beach. Before your trip, ensure that you’ve purchased an anti-theft bag or a waterproof bag for the beach so that you can ensure your device is safe even if you’re unable to store it elsewhere.

Protect your personal data

If you haven’t already set up password protection on your device, ensure that you do it before you travel. Make sure you do what you can to make it complex in order to prevent making it easy for anyone to access your device should it get lost. Additional steps could include location finder and enabling remote wiping so that if all is lost, at least none of your personal data is tampered with.

Be safe in public settings

Never assume everything is fine when it comes to accessing any personal information, such as your bank accounts or company servers, etc. Do your utmost to avoid using any passwords or login id’s on public devices and instead try to only access it using your own personal devices.

Lock up and go 

Being well-aware of your surroundings and the areas you are traveling to assists you in preparing. If you are traveling to an area with a high risk of pick-pocketing or theft, instead of carrying your device with you – leave it locked up in the safe at the hotel you’re staying at. If there are no lockers in your room, ask the staff if there is perhaps safes available on the premises.

Check your location and privacy settings

At home, knowing your location could be useful for the apps that you need it for to navigate or better your experience at home but when you’re abroad, make sure that your location is turned off for unnecessary apps or social media. This is information cyber criminals could use against you at any point.

Back it up

Before you leave for your trip, backup your device where it can be stored at home. In the situation where your device was lost or stolen, you would be able to restore the backup and have access to your data again.

Update your software

Although it might come off as unnecessary, updating your software could be crucial in ensuring your device is safe, especially in a cybersecurity sense. Software updates are created with the intention of fixing any bugs and preventing malicious devices that could be attempting to access your data. Think of it like a vaccine for your phone or tablet.

Get a local SIM

Apart from protecting your device from theft you need to ensure that you protect your data, getting a local SIM when travelling to the USA will ensure you keep data costs low and won’t need to worry about not being able to make and receive local calls. View the b4i.travel data packages here: https://b4i.travel/usa/

There are a lot of things you can do to protect your device but remember that if your personal information lands in the wrong hands, it could be worse than just simply a lost phone. Take the time and steps to prevent that before and during your travels.

Be safe, have fun!

What you need to know about free WiFi while travelling

While there is free wifi at many hotels, coffee shops, the service can be slow and is not necessarily secure.  Having extra high speed data on your phone can save time and frustration.  In the case of some hotels that charge for wifi, using your phone’s data (if you are using a local sim with a data bundle loaded) will also save you money.  

If you’re at a hotel that charges for wifi don’t forget that you can use your phone as a personal hotspot to support your computer or tablet.

Most restaurants in the USA have free wifi, just ask your waitron for the details.

Tips about safety and security for travellers to USA

We’ve compiled a checklist and also created some helpful safety and security tips for you while travelling to the USA.

Emergency calls from a mobile

Under the GSM standard for mobile phones the universal emergency number which can be dialed anywhere where you have cell reception is 112. This number can be dialed with or without a sim or airtime.

Alternately for emergencies you can dial:

  • North America:  Dial 911
  • Europe and Africa: Dial 112
  • Australia: Dial 000
  • Calls are free of charge

Another option is save an ICE (in case of emergency) contact in your phone, ideally next of kin or your doctor. From the lock screen of Android and Apple phones a person (paramedic / first responder on the scene) can call this emergency number without having to know your passcode.

Don’t keep all credit cards together

Always leave some of your cards in the hotel safe in case you loose your wallet. Note that you may need to notify your bank in advance you will be traveling abroad.

Keep a copy of your passport

Make a copies of your passport and visa, then keep a paper copy at the hotel and a copy on your phone or stored in the cloud in Dropbox or any alternative. Ideally when out and about it is always good to travel with some alternate form of identification (drivers license) and leave your passport in the hotel safe.

Keeping hotel details handy

Most hotels have business cards which you can take with you so you can find your way back to the hotel or in case of an emergency. And in foreign language cities the address its great to be able to hand the card to your cab driver so they know where to take you.

Luggage Tips

Leave a home address card in you luggage in case the baggage tags are destroyed in transit.

Many bags look identical on the airport carousel.  Make you bag look unique by tying a coloured ribbon or coloured tape to your handle

Prepack you bags and create a checklist for last minute items (medications).  If you pack 48hrs in advance, you give yourself time to remember what you forgot.

Create a separate carry-on checklist… headphones, sweater, eye mask, book, empty water bottle (fill it up once though security), cable ties, safety pins, medicines, pen for immigration forms.

Emergency snack and water (bring empty bottle to the airport that you can  fill later) in case flight delays once you are on the plane.

Before You Travel Phone Checklist

We recommend trying the following apps before you travel:

Travel Apps

  • Whatsapp
  • Uber
  • Glympse
  • OpenTable
  • Yelp
  • Tripit
  • Here
  • Apps for the airlines you will be flying
  • Conversion  apps (currency / measurements)
  • International Clock (time zones)
  • Google Tanslate
  • Skype

Device Checklist

  • Smartphone is unlocked
  • Wall charger (one for each devise you will be charging)
    • US plug adapter (one for each wall charger)
  • Cables for wall chargers
  • Battery pack (for staying charged on the go)
    • Bring a backup battery with output of 1.5mA or better.  Airplane USBs and car USB ports do not output enough power to charge your phone while it is in use (especially true if you are using it as a GPS for driving).  Airplane seat standard outlets (vs the airplane USB) will supply enough power.  
  • Car charger

If you plan to use WhatsApp 

  • Make sure your friends and family are on Whatsapp.  Domestic and International messaging and calling is free and easy if you have a wifi or data connection
  • When you arrive in the USA, change your phone number in WhatsApp on your phone (Settings > Accounts > Change Phone Number)

Change you phone number on Uber before you leave

  • Change your phone number to your travel number (do this online just before you leave).  This way you can easily coordinate with the driver if there is any pickup issue

Download Here Maps

  • Download relevant maps for offline use

And of course, your Limo service

  • Make sure they know your local phone number in case any pickup issues