Recent cyberattacks have shown that there’s a lot more to be afraid of while traveling than the casual pick-pocketer. Here’s a list of things to watch out for, scams to be aware of, and tips to help keep you safe. The point isn’t to travel in fear, but rather to be savvy and smart. Safe travels!
Watch out for known scams. These days, it’s not just pick-pocketing scams you have to watch out for. For example, someone might offer a charging device, and the device (in addition to charging) is a downloading device that downloads the entire phone drive.
Wait to post pictures. Posting pictures from the road can alert potential burglars that you are away.
Stay on the 4th, 5th or 6th floor. Ask for these floors at a big hotel - they’re too high for cat burglars, but low enough for easy access to fire escapes.
Watch the road! This might surprise you, but the largest percent of travel fatalities are due to car accidents. Make sure you understand the local road rules before you get in the car.
Get the right insurance. If you’re buying Insurance, look for a plan that not only pays for travel medical expenses, but provides emergency support for accidents.
Know your driver. Taxis at airports are a hazard for kidnapping and an armed stop at an ATM for extortion, either book with a reputable service in advance, or find the official airport taxi stand to hail a cab.
Avoid public WiFi. This is a tough one, but public WiFi abroad, even in fancy hotels, is generally accessible to all sorts of criminal elements and should not be used for email, and never for accessing password-protected accounts.
New devices are the best. If you’re carrying sensitive information or worried about cybersecurity, use a new device only (one without any passwords saved). On return, the device should be wiped before re-use. Operating systems can be updated in foreign countries without consent. Many foreign countries routinely auto install malware when your arrive at airport
Encrypt. You can encrypt your entire hard drive on your phone or device, but note that in some countries bringing an encrypted hard drive into the country is illegal.
Store appraisals at home. If you have insurance on jewelry, make sure photos, lists, and appraisals are stored safely at home when traveling.
Lock up your jewelry. Jewelry should be kept on person or stored in a hotel safe at all times.
Know before you go. The State Department and CIA have websites with frequently updated travel warnings - check before you leave.