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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How Can I Protect My Computers, Smartphone, and Other Devices When I Travel?

Summer is here and with it, comes summer day trips and extended vacations. If you're like me, your gadgets are a part of your everyday life which means if you travel, you're bound to take devices like, smartphones, laptops, digital cameras, tablets, and e-readers with you. I'm sure one of your worse nightmares is if something happened to your devices while you're traveling and it should be of concern. Every year, thousands of devices are stolen, lost, or damaged while people are vacationing. Want to keep your devices safe during those summer vacation months, here are some quick and easy tips you can use to protect your electronics and tech.

1. Back Up Your Devices. You should have automatic backups of all of your devices, but in case you're one of those people who doesn't, set it up for your mobile devices now. You know anything can happen to your devices, what you don't want to experience is losing all of those precious pictures, documents, and videos. Both Apple and Google devices have the ability to backup your important data to the cloud. If you have a Wi-Fi-enabled camera, configure it to save that information to the cloud as well. If you have a Windows or Apple laptop, your best bet is to use cloud backup services like Carbonite ( or cloud storage services like Google Drive, OneDrive, or DropBox ( to store your data in the cloud.

2. Password Protect Your Mobile Devices. Did you know that about a third of people around the world don't use passwords to protect their tech? Well, passwords are the first line of defense to protect your information if your devices are lost or stolen. If your devices have the ability, use biometric identification like face ID or a fingerprint to keep your device more secure. When you take steps to protect your data, you reduce the risks of ID theft and other cyber threats and increases your chances of recovering your device because most criminals will discard it once they realize they can't get access to the device. If you're traveling with a laptop, take the extra step to encrypt your devices. Encryption is the act of scrambling the data of your devices so the only way to access them is the person trying to access the device a key. Smartphones and tablets encrypt themselves when you put a password on them. Computers do not. If you have a Windows 10 computer, you can encrypt your computer with Bitlocker which is included with computers running Windows 10 Professional. If you're a Macintosh user, you have access to File Vault which is included on all Macintosh computers.

3. Protect Your Devices in the Summer Heat. Heat is the enemy of all tech devices. Don’t leave any devices in direct sunlight as direct sunlight can ruin the screen and cause your device to overheat and ruin it. Be careful not to let your smartphone and other devices get too hot during the summer because it can damage the battery life. If you are at the pool, make sure your phone is stored somewhere cool, or at least out of direct sunlight. If your device does happen to overheat, simply store it somewhere with lower temperatures and let your device cool down before using it again. Don't force it to get cool by holding it in front of a fan or A/C let it cool naturally. Never leave tech your gadgets in vehicles, it can become an oven-like environment. If you absolutely have to leave your technology in the car, be sure to park in the shade and crack the car windows.

4. Track Your Tech Devices. You should never leave your device unattended, but accidents and negligence happen. Most modern, computers, smartphones, and tablets have the ability to be tracked built into the devices. Tech theft is big business domestically and internationally and tourists are a big target. You might be tempted to use a device like a Tile, but you need to use the built-in tracking software on your device as it uses GPS rather than Tile which uses Bluetooth which has a limited range.

5. Get a Case For Your Devices. Do you know anyone who hasn't dropped their phone? I don't and I'm sure you don't either. When you're near home, you can easily replace your devices, whenever you're traveling, it's impossible. Keep those devices safe by getting protective cases for everything you plan to take on the road with you.

I hope you have fun this summer in your travels with family and friends. You know you will take some form of technology with you when you go. Make sure you follow the above tips to keep all of your devices safe and to make sure they all come home with you.

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