Travelling with technology can be perilous and interesting as a woman recently found out in a Winnipeg hotel. While using the hotel’s wi-fi, she received a call from someone claiming he could see all the documents and pictures on her laptop including her credit card information, passport details and other personal information.
Some simple preparation before her trip could have saved her that call.
Before you travel
Before you get on the plane, train or boat, you should install all the updates for your operating system and software/apps on all the devices you are taking. All of them means: laptop, smartphone and tablet. Don’t forget to make sure your antivirus software is up to date.
Also make sure your firewall is on (would have saved that woman in Winnipeg a lot of anxiety).
Airport or border guards might want you to turn your devices so make sure all your devices are fully charged. Gather up all the chargers and put them in one of those freezer baggies so you have them all in one place. Shove all those little bits, USB receiver for fitness bands, mouse and speakers in that freezer baggie too. Keep that baggie in your carryon luggage. It can cost a lot of money (and vacation time) if you need to buy a replacement charger, cable, etc. say in Mexico or other countries. Also check if you need a special power adapter for your destination.
Before I went to Mexico for a week, I backed up my laptop and I took a flash drive to back up any files I created while there. If you’re going away for a longer period of time, you might want to take a portable external drive for backup.
When you wi-fi around the world
Be a worldly wi-fi user. Don’t use hotel and coffee shop wireless for sensitive computing like banking and online shopping unless you have set up a VPN.
When you go to another country, some of your favourites may be a little different. When I went to the Fitbit dashboard down in Mexico, Fitbit automatically assumed I wanted the Mexican Spanish web site. (More about travelling with the Fitbit here).
Just two tasks when you get home. First, run updates on your antivirus and your operating system before you start working. Second, run a backup just in case.
Have a safe trip!