While watching the movie “No Escape,” you‘ll realize how dreadful it is to be caught in the middle of a civil unrest as a tourist. You stay on the edge of your seat as the movie unfolds. To be realistic, however, the chance to be caught in a similar situation is remote, but it can happen.
The risk that travelers must be vigilant about is getting robbed or something similar. It is important to remember that wherever there are tourists, there are also likely to be snatchers, pickpockets and con artists waiting for the right chance to prey on their innocent targets. This means no place is really absolutely safe; there will always be certain risks, even in the seemingly safe places like America.
If there are lures that are likely to catch the attention of thieves and scammers, these will be your pricey electronics that you innocently dangle before them while taking selfies or sending Instagram to your social media accounts. Kevin Farrell shares the 10 hacks to protect your pricey electronics from theft & fraud when you’re on the road in his post for Road Warrior Voices. He writes:
“While the photographs we snap while traveling are truly priceless, your camera probably has a very real, possibly very large dollar sign attached to it. Same goes for your smartphone, laptop, tablet and other pricey electronics. Here’s how to keep them safe on the road and in the air, and how to make sure you make it back home with your tech intact.”
Farrel suggests some tips to keep your expensive electronics safe while globetrotting:
Before leaving home:
- Turn on “Find My iPhone.” This is the iPhone’s tracking ability. You can also do this to your other electronic gadgets such as laptop and tablet.
- Change your passwords. Changing your passwords before the travel and when you return is a standard procedure that you must do to protect your accounts to prevent compromising your financial accounts.
- Back up your devices. It is easy to save your data to the cloud or you can use the services of Google Drive or Dropbox using the Internet. Just in case the dreaded inevitable happens, you’ll be happy to know that you can still access your data anywhere there is Internet.
While on the road:
- Avoid geotagging. Despite loving Instagram, especially when posting your beautiful selfies, know that you broadcasting your exact location all the time. Scammers can easily deduce that you are not home or in the hotel where your valuables “may be laying ripe for the taking.”
- Back your own Wi-Fi and use your own devices. If you are a heavy user of the Wi-fi and related electronic devises, it is better to bring your own. If you must use one in the hotel or an Internet café, make sure to clear your cookies before use.
- Use the hotel room safe, or hostel lockers. Rather than bring every piece of electronic device each time you leave your room or the hotel and make yourself a visible target for every crook nearby, leave your valuables in the hotel. If you are leaving it in your hotel room, secure it with your own lock.
In the event of a theft or loss:
- Lock your device right away. Remember turning on Find My iPhone? Aren’t you thankful you did?!
- Have a plan for resetting your passwords remotely. Prevent the thief from accessing your accounts by getting the passwords changed right away using a tool that can do it remotely, such as Passpack.
- Check your bank accounts right away. If you have an overview app, such as Mint, you can easily check and monitor the activities and transactions on your bank and credit-card accounts. Get those pop-alerts on your credit card and bank accounts, even if they can be a bit annoying; they can be useful when travelling.
The most important thing is to leave most of your valuables when travelling, except for the ones that you very well need to stay connected with important people. It is impractical to bring several electronic gadgets when travelling to distant places. They will not only make you an “alluring target” to scammers and thieves, they can also weigh you down. One practical tip is to get yourself a gadget that can do several things for you, such as a smartphone.
It is also important to be aware of the Common Types of Theft While Traveling Abroad. Learn about them from Brian Martucci in this Money Crasher’s post. Martucci’s list includes pickpocketing, mugging, distraction schemes, bag operations, counterfeit change, wireless identity theft, and ATM skimming. Remember, criminals are creative, so be vigilant.