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As social calendars fill up with vacations, family barbeques and swimming trips, opportunities to preserve memories with photos and videos increase, and more people take their digital devices on-the-go. While summertime can be a fun time for memories, it can also increase the risk for devices being lost and stolen, or a lack of ability to safely back up data.
In addition to packing bags and sorting travel arrangements, taking the extra time to ensure digital data is kept safe will guarantee the memories collected will live beyond the warmer months. Whether at home or abroad, the following tips will help to protect your data and devices without adding extra worries to your vacation.
Maintain Your Backup
By backing up devices on a daily basis, you’ll ensure the information they hold will be safe even in the event of loss or theft. With the vast number of apps and software solutions on the market, it has never been easier to find a backup system that works for you. Whether you prefer to store data in the cloud or on a backup device, the likelihood that your data will make it home increases when it’s spread across multiple devices and locations using the 3-2-1 backup strategy.
With Access to Wi-Fi
Most devices enable users to select whether or not they want their data backed up automatically. If you’re traveling in a foreign country or have a limited data plan, selecting the option to back up data directly to the cloud once connected to a trusted, secure Wi-Fi network removes one more item from your to-do list.
Without Access to Wi-Fi
While cloud systems provide portability and decrease the number of devices you have to keep track of, they aren’t always the best option when traveling with little or no access to Wi-Fi. USB drives are small enough to fit in most spaces and mail back home at affordable rates. While larger, laptops and hard drives are easier to locate, organize and manage. Additionally, backing up your data to a laptop or separate backup device can be done without Wi-Fi, giving you the opportunity to move data to the cloud once you’re able to connect to a secure network.
While theft and loss of physical devices should always be a priority during travel, carrying extensive amounts of baggage, shuffling between modes of transportation and keeping track of travel documents can make it easier to lose devices.
By outfitting your gear in cases and covers, you can easily identify your devices and keep track of where everything belongs while protecting them from physical damage. Having a dedicated place to store devices and covering them in simple designs can also help deflect the wandering eyes of thieves looking for expensive electronics.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowds, and never leave your devices unattended. This can be difficult when traveling alone, so try to travel as light as possible. If you have plans to bring out more expensive equipment for special trips or events, you will have more peace of mind researching hotels and accommodation with safes in the room, or with the ability to store personal belongings with the front desk.
While pictures by the pool and sunsets on the beach provide ample photo opportunities, bodies of water increase the likelihood of damaging devices. Fortunately, many of these devices are now water resistant, but for those that aren’t, it’s worth investing in protective waterproof cases. Additionally, limiting the number of devices brought around bodies of water will increase their safety.
Safety Tips When Connecting to Wi-Fi
After hours spent without access to Wi-Fi, it can be tempting to join the first signal available. However, bad actors seek out opportunities to steal your personal information from weak or public Wi-Fi networks. By following the tips below, you will strengthen the security of your personal information, devices and data.
- Do not access or provide sensitive information on open Wi-Fi networks, especially if you do not fully trust the network’s security. Remember to turn off automatic connection to open Wi-Fi networks.
- Use strong passwords and change them often. Ensure you are not using the same passwords across various accounts.
- Turn off sharing on your devices and reject requests to share data.
- If you are accessing or providing sensitive information, ensure the website is protected by a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), which is indicated by the HTTPS prefix in a URL.
- Set up a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your connection by routing your traffic through a secure network while still enjoying the freedom of public Wi-Fi.
Taking the time to actively secure your digital assets and devices increases their lifespan, allowing you to revisit happy memories spent outside of office.