Managing online safety and privacy is really challenging, especially when you are travelling, as it is not just your wallet or device that can be stolen, but also your social identity. A large number of cases involving social identity theft have made their way to the front page of newspapers and sites, reminding us all about the existence of the threat and issuing us a warning that perhaps we can be next. Luckily, there are some really great ways of curbing the threat while travelling to an unsecure digital environment.
1. Use VPN
Public networks may be free, but they are rarely safe. So do not connect your device with shared network. Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) to secure your network connection and encryption your web traffic. Just use the Google search engine to look for either paid or free VPN apps for Android, iOS, and other platforms, read their reviews, and finally invest your money on the one that has the best reputation and reviews. If you do not have access to a VPN, then always clear your browsing history and cookies before connecting your device to the public Wi-Fi in order to decrease the risk.
2. Buy a Disposable Phone or Use Local SIM Card
A majority of the smartphone providers offer international roaming facility to their users, which indeed is a huge convenience, but it comes with a serious security threat as your provider has to reveal your personal information like name, contact information etc., to the international service providers. This is something mandatory as per international laws. If, by any means, an un-authorized person gets access to your private information, then they can easily steal your identity without you knowing about it. So the best option you have is to use a disposable phone or a local SIM card while travelling.
3. Install a Location Tracking App on Your Phone
Majority of the smartphones and other devices have a built-in location tracking feature. You must check with your manufacturer to activate it. If you lack faith in your phone’s built-in location tracking feature, then you can opt for a third-party location tracking app to remotely track your device, lock it, and wipe its data in case it is stolen or goes missing to keep your social identity and private data from falling into the wrong hands.
4. Avoid Using ATM Machines
Identity thieves install card readers in different ATM machines. This is one of the easiest ways for stealing the social identity and ATM details of any person. So avoid using ATM machines while traveling. Instead, use a prepaid card. If you have to use an ATM machine, then prefer using bank’s ATM machines as they are safer compared to those present in restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, etc.
5. Disable Bluetooth on All Your Devices
Hackers are always looking for secret doors to your device, and Bluetooth is one of them. Some devices automatically get connected to any other device present nearby through Bluetooth, creating a perfect opportunity for hackers to steal your identity by adding a malware on your device. This is why you are strongly advised to keep the Bluetooth switched off on all your digital devices while in an unsecure digital environment.