Are you guilty of misplacing your electronics? Have you ever had your phone or tablet stolen? This can be a burdensome situation, especially while traveling. There are several ways you can help protect yourself from losing your devices and all the precious information stored on them. Use these vacation tech tips and travel with peace of mind.
Vacation Tech Tips: Protect Your Devices When Traveling
Have you ever heard the saying “experience is the best teacher”? I have learned so much through the various mishaps we have experienced while traveling. I use my mobile phone for everything! It’s my camera, address book, list-maker, calendar, and even at times my personal assistant. You can imagine how frantic I was when I misplaced my phone in a public restroom while traveling in Missouri. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered my phone was actually stolen! It was heartbreaking to learn that many of my priceless pictures were gone! I learned a hard lesson that day.
There is good news! By following all the tech tips I could find, two months later, my stolen phone was returned to me! I’m now convinced that everyone should have the right tools to protect their devices. You can imagine I was better prepared when once again, a year late, my tablet was stolen! Applying the tech tips I had previously learned helped me to recover my stolen device once again!
Back Up All Of Your Information
Almost all devices come with an option to backup your important information. There are many ways to save your contacts, messages, photos, and more so that you can easily restore them to a new device. My current service provider offers cloud space for me to backup to. They offer a certain amount of GBs for free and I can purchase more if necessary. Google also has storage for photos and more. Apple offers the iCloud which is extremely easy to use. If you currently already have one of these cloud options set up, be sure to check it from time to time. Before my phone was stolen, it had stopped backing up because it ran out of cloud storage. I also purchased an external memory for my laptop and regularly backup to it.
Passcode or Password Protect Everything
This is so important. It’s a lot like leaving your car unlocked in a parking lot. You set yourself up as an ideal target when your devices are not protected with a password or passcode. I did not have a passcode on my device and I easily gave the person who took my phone access to everything! Tip: Please be more creative than 1234 or the word password when choosing the right code!
Know How To Track Your Device
Did you know that you can track your Android or Apple device? The first time my phone was stolen I was able to track where the person picked it up at and which direction they went with it (until the location was turned off). This is a great tool if you misplace your phone. If you are an Android user, activate Android Device Manager and Location History. If you are an Apple user install and activate the Find My iPhone, iPad or Mac app. You have the greatest chance of locating your lost/stolen device by already having these apps installed.
Having the Find my iPhone app installed on my device helped me to locate my iPad when it was stolen. Remotely from my computer, I was able to lock my tablet with a passcode. I loved that I was notified immediately via text message and an email the moment my lost device connected to WIFI and the exact location it was at when it connected. In addition to remotely locking my device, I was able to attach a message with how it could be returned to me (I provided my phone number). What a helpful tool this turned out to be.
Use Your Installed Apps
Upon discovering that your device has been misplaced or stolen, the first thing you should do is check your Device Manager or Find My iPhone app. Both of these options give you a chance to ring your device (even if the phone is on silent). It can be helpful to check your Google Activity to see if there is any suspicious activity (this is how I discovered my phone was stolen). If you did not have a lock screen setup and you suspect it’s stolen, then you can remotely lock the device and/or erase the device so that you can keep your information protected.
Once you GPS track your phone if you suspect it’s been stolen call the police. DO NOT attempt to retrieve the phone yourself!
Purchase Insurance For Your Device
Previously, I was one of those people who thought that I wouldn’t become the victim of theft. I keep my phone on me at all times, I lock my car, I take extra precautions to make sure that my devices are safe. However, it’s so easy to become distracted by new unfamiliar places when traveling. One small distraction can be all it takes to make you leave your valuables unattended. Always hope for the best but prepare for the worst.