MAKE A CHECKLIST
Did you grab that phone charger? Did you download a few
good books for the ﬂight? You’ll be less ﬂustered (i.e. less
prone to making careless mistakes) if you get all of your
ducks in a row well ahead of time. Use an app like Evernote
to make sure everything is accounted for.
STORE IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
You never know when you’ll need to contact your hotel or
airline, so save time and avoid stress by looking up any
numbers you may need ahead of time. Storing important
contact info in your phone’s address book is as good as
having your trip itinerary on speed dial.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR FINANCES
There’s a good chance that you won’t always have a secure
connection while you’re away, so you should’t provide any
more sensitive personal information than absolutely
necessary. Avoid having to use banking apps or providing
your credit card number by scheduling your bill payments
and making mobile deposits or purchases before you leave.
CHECK YOUR CARRIER’S ROAMING POLICY
The last thing you want to come home to is a six-ﬁgure phone
bill, so make sure you’re familiar with your carrier’s policy
about using your phone in other countries. Knowing when
you’ll need to rely on Wi-Fi vs. your data connection can help
you plan how you’ll use your phone on your trip.
SET A STRONG PASSCODE
If somebody other than yourself ends up with your phone, a
passcode is the ﬁrst line of defense for your personal data. To
keep your information private, create a strong passcode
(read: not 1234 or 0000) for your phone and set your screen
to auto-lock within ﬁve minutes.
BACK UP EVERYTHING
Hopefully nothing bad will happen to your phone while
you’re on your trip (knock on wood), but it’s not a bad idea to
save a copy of anything you care about. Use a service like
Lookout to make sure your photos and contacts will be safe
no matter what your phone goes through.
DOWNLOAD MOBILE SECURITY
You’re probably depending on your phone for a lot, so do
what you can to make sure nothing bad happens to it. Install
the Lookout app as a layer of insurance for phone loss. You’ll
be able to locate your lost phone and even lock and wipe it
if you want to protect your sensitive data.
When you go to a new country, you probably don’t know much
about the app ecosystem, which could expose you to threats
you’re not even aware of. Make sure your device settings reﬂect
your native or regular IP address. The Google Play Store
should be available to your device as normal, so keep using
the store as it will be subject to Google's usual scrutiny.
BE CAREFUL ON WI-FI
80 percent of public Wi-Fi networks are open or poorly
protected, including those free networks that you detect
while sitting in an airport waiting for your ﬂight. As a general
rule, avoid unprotected Wi-Fi when traveling and don't use
any sensitive sites or apps (whether it's a bank or Facebook)
over Wi-Fi — stick to Buzzfeed.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR DEVICE
From installing malware to taking the device itself, you never
know what might happen to your phone when you’re not
watching it closely. Never leave your device unattended. It only
takes a moment for something bad to happen.
KEEP YOUR LOCATION TO YOURSELF
It can be tempting to brag about all of the adventures you’re
ﬁnding on your trip, but telling everyone that you’re not at home
can make your home an easy target for burglary. After you snap
that photo at the Taj Mahal on your phone, be cautious not to
geo-tag it for all the world to know your location.
BACK UP ALL OF THE PHOTOS YOU TOOK
You know all of those great memories you just made? It would
be a such a shame if something, you know, happened to them.
Use Lookout again to make sure your vacation pics and new
friends’ contact info will last longer than your suntan.
SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Now that you’re home safe and sound, there’s no
better time to serve your Facebook friends all of the
vacay pics they can handle. In addition to skipping the
danger of having told everyone that you weren’t
home, you’ll get to relive your trip all over again.
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR BILLS
You religiously checked currency conversion rates and were
really careful to abide by your data usage policy, but
unexpected charges can still weasel into your bills. Keep an eye
on your bank statement and cell phone bill following your trip
so you can catch any foul play before it’s too late.