How do I protect mobile devices while traveling?

Traveling for business or pleasure can be hectic, unnerving, and often draining. It’s not uncommon to hear somebody say, “I need a vacation”, after returning from their vacation. When traveling, the last thing you need to worry about is having your critical possessions ripped off.  So here are some things to consider:

Airplanes: Always keep your mobile device with you when you go to the bathroom or stretch your legs. Clip it to your belt or slip it into a pocket when you are napping. Never put it in the overhead compartment!

Rental Cars: My wife traveled to Spain, got off the plane, rented a car, and drove off the lot. At the first stop sign, a man knocked on her passenger window and pointed, saying, “tire, tire.” She put the car in park and walked over to the passenger side. The tire was fine and the man was gone. When she got back in the car, she discovered her purse had disappeared from the front seat. Her mobile phone, driver’s license, passport, cash, and credit cards were all gone. Keep your eyes open for scams and keep your device clipped to you at all times!

Hotel Rooms: Hotel rooms are never secure. I was recently traveling and entered my hotel room to find somebody else’s stuff, including their mobile, laid out on the dresser and bed. This has happened to me dozens of times. Sometimes the clerk assigns the same room to two people, or the keys work in multiple rooms.And ,of course, everyone on the staff has access.  It’s important to never, ever leave anything of value in your room, always engage the security lock on the door when inside, and take your mobile into the bathroom with you. If you go to the fitness center or restaurant, take your mobile with you or put it with other valuables in the safe (and don’t use a combination that’s easy to guess, like “1234”)!

Public Wi-Fi: Mobile devices are more secure on your carrier’s network than a Wi-Fi connection. But if you have to use Wi-Fi, consider using a personal VPN to tunnel through the public Wi-Fi and encrypt your connection. Cover all your bases by installing Hotspot Shield VPN. A free, ad-supported program, Hotspot Shield protects your entire web surfing session by securing your connection, no matter what kind of wireless you are using—whether you’re at home or in public, using wired or wireless Internet. Hotspot Shield does this by ensuring that all web transactions are secured through HTTPS. It also offers an iPhone and Android version.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.