Summertime for many of us means travel time, and with travel comes the need to embrace the unknown. When you know little about your destination, it is better to be safe than sorry. Preparation for travel should now include protecting your digital assets from hacks, networks that aren’t secure, or theft. No, we’re not suggesting that you get paranoid or look over your shoulder constantly. There are less invasive things you can do to that simply involve advanced planning. Here are a few items to add to your to-do list to ensure a safe, relaxing time for you and yours.

Set better passwords 

Before you travel, it would do you good to change your passwords to your devices and accounts. Make sure to choose something that isn’t obvious. One tip from our geeks to you: choose a short sentence you’d easily remember – it’s hard to crack through those.

It’s annoying, but… enable alerts 

With email, social media and digital banking nowadays, you will be notified if your account is being accessed from a remote location. Just to be sure, double check that you have your alerts turned on while you’re travelling.

Whenever possible, avoid networks that aren’t secure 

We’re all tempted to use free public wifi, especially when we’re abroad and want to stay connected without incurring crazy charges. With public wifi, however, it’s likely that the networks aren’t secure and you’re putting yourself at risk. One tip is to keep a lookout for sites that read https:// – the added ‘s’ indicates that the website is secure. You could also subscribe to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which keeps all of the information you send on the internet private.

Encrypt your laptop hard drive 

Encryption helps prevent unauthorised access to the data stored on your hard drive. Use Filevault (Mac) or Bitlocker (Windows) to do this.

Keep your devices updated

With every update, your devices are – amongst other good things – protected against security threats. Not updating your device before you travel might expose you to software vulnerabilities that could easily be side-stepped.

Use a device locating app

Losing your phone is a recipe for disaster – whether you’ve left it on a cab or it’s hidden in plain sight while you go about your business. Apps like ‘Find My iPhone’ help you locate your phone using iCloud. If you realise that it is, in fact, not where you left it, you can remotely reset your phone to factory mode – erasing all of your personal data and keeping you safe from cyber crime.