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July 21, 2015

Protecting Smartphones is a Must for Travelers this Summer

Summer is a great time to kick back and relax. Many people take advantage of the nice weather and additional free time to take a vacation or visit friends and family. Unfortunately, oftentimes these trips come with additional risks.

A recent study by Asurion estimates that around 18 million cellphones will be lost, stolen, or damaged during this summer. While most people are all too familiar with the headaches that come with losing a phone (cancelling contracts, recovering contacts, changing passwords, etc.), during the summer travel season that frustration will only be compounded.

The same Asurion survey found that 83 percent of people described their smartphone as “an important part of their travel experience,” with 55 percent storing vital vacation information like boarding passes, itineraries, reservation confirmations and event tickets on their mobile devices. Bettie Colombo, spokesperson for Asurion, elaborates: “Phones, tablets, and laptops act as digital travel bags containing everything from reservations, maps, flight information, travel documents, movies, photos, and music,” making a digital device almost like another piece of luggage. Just like losing a piece of luggage on a trip, losing one of these devices could be catastrophic. 

With this in mind, travelers need to be cognizant of minimizing the risk of anything happening to their phone. For example, make sure not to take devices out unnecessarily, and make use of safes in hotel rooms when storing them. Make sure to be aware of your surroundings; a lot of phones are accidentally left in taxis, busses, or subways. It is also wise to invest in a quality carrying case, and make sure to never leave belongings unattended.

In the event that a smartphone is swiped, there is some recourse owners can take. The kill-switch option will wipe all stored data from a lost or stolen smartphone and render it unusable to potential thieves, although this will not help recover the travel documents that could be lost. The best advice for travelers this summer is to remain vigilant, keep track of your devices and make sure to keep them contained in a safe way. This is key to a safe and fun summer holiday. 

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