With July 4th in the rear-view mirror, summer travel and vacations are in full swing. Here are a few tips for getting the most from your tech this summer and making sure your plans don’t get spoiled.
If you are taking your tech on the road this summer, before you do anything else, be sure you have a solid backup of all your data and contacts. The last thing you want is to lose a device and all the data on it during a vacation, with no way to get it back. From iCloud to OneDrive, Dropbox and automated online backup services, there’s no reason you should ever lose your data. Worst case, if you lost a device or one was stolen, as soon as you get a new device, you should be able to login to one of these services and get your data back in minutes. For mobile devices, this should include all your contact and pictures as well.
Speaking of losing a device, however that may happen, be sure you have enabled your find or location service. In the event you misplace a device, this may help you find it quickly. If your device gets stolen, this may also help you direct law enforcement to its location, but will also allow you to wipe the device and ensure the safety of your data should the device be broken in to. For families traveling, this can even help find a lost person, though hopefully you’re never really that lost.
When you travel, you will be tempted to jump on public or other shared Wi-Fi networks to stay online. Connecting to these types of networks is a real safety risk. You never know who else is connected and may be snooping in on what you and others are doing online. You should use a VPN to connect to a secure VPN server that will encrypt all your traffic across a public Wi-Fi network and keep the bad guys at bay. You should never connect to any banking or other secure sites over a public Wi-Fi without a VPN. Doing so is just asking for your credentials to be stolen.
When spending more time outside and moving about, your mobile device is likely to run out of juice at just the wrong moment. So when you travel or plan to spend a lot of time away from power outlets, be sure to carry a spare battery with all the right connectors to recharge your device multiple times, so you never run out of power.
Remember that the summer heat can be an issue for your technology devices too. If you are planning to spend the day at the beach, be sure your technology has a cover up to protect it from the sun as well. A mobile phone in the direct sunshine of summer will overheat quickly and shut itself down to protect itself until it cools down enough to safely operate. Keep your devices in the shade as much as possible or at least under a towel, preferably folded over several times for protection.
These are just a few tips for enjoying your technology this summer and keeping it and you safe. I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July and enjoy a safe and relaxing summer filled with family, friends and fun.