How to be cyber-safe when travelling
These apps and devices will help protect your data and sensitive information secure while you’re on the road.
- January 2019
We keep our whole lives on our phones and laptops these days so it’s important to protect your data – whether it’s financial information or even photographs – particularly when you’re in a foreign country. Here, we round up some of the clever products and apps that help you do just that.
Keep your Wi-Fi private
Travel means relying on Wi-Fi in hotels and public places and a safe connection is a must. A virtual private network (VPN) will keep your browsing, banking and any other web activities away from prying eyes, malware and potential cyber criminals. CyberGhost has smartphone (iOS and Android) and computer (Windows and Mac) apps that allow you to create a VPN connection with a simple click. It will set you back about AUD $87 a year.
Secure your files
Lost, stolen or dead devices can spell disaster when you’re on vacation. For about AUD $17.50 a month, Tresorit will take the worry out of travelling with your tech by syncing and storing your files securely in an encrypted vault in the cloud.
Keep your phone number private
If you’re travelling and need to give your mobile number to taxi drivers, tour guides, overseas clients, Airbnb guests or anyone else you don’t want to have your actual contact number, you can protect it using a temporary, disposable number through an app like Hushed. No-one wants to pay roaming charges for mobile spam or unwanted calls and this way, your real number will stay private and won’t be shared with third parties. It only costs about AUD $2.80 a week.
Ensure passwords are safe
It can be challenging to remember all your different login details on the fly but you can forget all that now – 1Password securely stores passwords and credit card numbers you might need while travelling. The clever app costs about AUD $4.20 a month and can be used on your phone or tablet as well as your browser to autofill usernames and passwords on supported websites with a couple of clicks. Its Travel Mode feature stores login details in the cloud, not on your device, in case they’re ever lost.
Stop credit card skimming
Keep your ePassport and credit cards safe from threats with a personal electronic force field. ArmourCard (AUD $59.95) creates a signal that interferes with wireless “tag and go” credit card skimming. Similarly, the ArmourCell (AUD $49.95) protects passwords, photos and other personal data from being stolen from your smartphone.
Track your tech item
Keep track of your tech when you’re away from home – simply turn on the ‘Find My’ feature on your Apple laptop or iPhone, or Find My Device if you’re using an Android phone or laptop. The find features can lessen some of the pain of lost tech and allow you to locate, lock or even wipe your device if it’s stolen.
Prevent data exchange
If you do use public charging stations at an airport and are worried about how to keep your phone safe, this handy device can give you peace of mind. With SyncStop (about AUD $18), the phone only uses power to charge – there’s no data exchange. So you can just pick up duty free and not a cyber virus.
Charge your devices safely
You don’t want to face a flat battery just as you try to check the directions to your hotel on your smartphone. Your devices need to be kept charged and while public charging stations are convenient, you can run the risk of picking up malware. Stay safe and use a battery bank. The Anker PowerPort Speed 5-Ports (AUD $89.95) has fast charging for up to five devices at a time, keeping your precious travel tech ready for any adventure.
Hack-proof your email
Rest easy with ProtonMail knowing that no-one can read your private email messages. You can sign up for a free email address with 500MB of storage and up to 150 messages per day with the Swiss company. For those who require more space and extra features, there are additional fees charged monthly or annually.