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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Use Your Smartphone To Keep You Safe During Summer Travel Season

Summer vacation trip season officially started Memorial Day weekend, but you are bound to take a trip throughout the summer months for family vacations, college visits, weddings, and, romantic getaways. Vacations can be fun, but traveling can put you and your family at risk for identity theft and credit card scams. Fortunately, in our digital age, your smartphone can play a big role in helping protect you from the dangers of cybercrime when you travel. Want to keep you and your family safe? Check out these quick and easy tips to keep you out of the crosshairs of criminals.

Use the hotel app to unlock your room. If you're staying at a major hotel chain this summer, download their app and enable the feature that will let you store your room key on your phone. Room keys are easy to lose and steal. If a criminal steals your card and knows your room number, you are in trouble. Room keys stored on your phone are safer. One less thing to worry about.

Pay for everything with your smartphone. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are two of the most secure ways to make payments. For the gas pump, you can avoid credit card skimmers designed to steal your credit card information. For shopping, your information is encrypted meaning criminals won't be able to wirelessly steal your card information. If you don't have Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, your debit/credit card should allow you to tap to pay at most major retailers. Use it and stay safe.

Emergency apps and Road Assistance apps are a must. Emergency apps keep you alerted to the weather in your area. Mishaps occur on the road, so you need to be able to contact someone if you're stranded.

Use AirTags and SmartTags to track Family Members. Yes, there has been a lot of negative press about AirTags and SmartTags being used to track victims by their abusers, but you can actually use this technology to track family members. Obviously keeping your eyes on family members is the best option, but if you can't then a tag will let you find your loved ones quickly.

Use AirTags and SmartTags To Track Your Luggage. Lost luggage is always a risk when you're on the road which is why you need to place an Apple AirTag or a Samsung SmartTag in your luggage. You can't control if your luggage will make it to your destination, but at least you will know where in the world it is at all times.

Turn on Find My Device to Keep Track of Your Devices. Find my device is available for every device out there which helps to keep your devices out of the hands of criminals. Lose your computer or smartphone while traveling, and use another one of your devices to track down those lost items. GPS technology means that you can find your device within 5 feet of the location of the device or the person who has stolen your device.

I hope you can use these tips to help you stay safe when you're traveling. Sure there are real-world threats out there, but you need to make sure you're safe from Internet threats as well. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!

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