Four things to do before you go on vacation

Deborah Salmi 15 Jun 2016

With a bit of preparation your mobile phone, laptop, and personal data can be secure when you travel. Read our 4 tips, and don't forget the sunscreen!

Here’s a plan to keep your mobile phone and PC safe when you’re on the road.


Preparing for a summer trip used to be pretty simple. The biggest challenge was remembering the sunscreen and packing comfortable shoes. It's not that easy anymore because you also need to think about the security of all the devices that travel with you. With these four advanced preparations, you can safely take your gadgets on the road!

1. Update everything a few days before you leave. The week before you start your trip, make sure the operating system (OS), software, and apps on your devices are updated.  This will improve the stability of your devices, keep you safe from viruses, malware, and other security threats, and help save your data or battery when connected to Wi-Fi.

Most software updates automatically, but if not you can follow these instructions to update:

BONUS TIP: Take advantage of the free upgrade to Microsoft’s most secure operating system, Windows 10, before July 29th. Avast can run parallel with Defender to give you the highest level of security.

2. Back up data on your devices. Losing your phone to a thief would be horrible, but if you have a backup copy of important data back home, you won’t spend the rest of your vacation worrying about it.

Use an online backup service like Dropbox or Google Drive or an external hard drive. If you use an external HD, don't store it in your computer bag. If a thief walks away with the bag, there goes your back up too.

BONUS TIP: Back up your travel docs, passport, and credit cards. Take a picture, print it out, and leave it with a relative back home. If you get in trouble, they can fax it to you.

3. Install tracking software on your Android devices. If your phone gets stolen, it allows you to track your device, remotely lock it, or wipe the data clean. Avast Anti-theft is a free Android app that you can install in a jiffy. Make sure that you set it up before you leave home and familiarize yourself with the web-based interface.

4. Decide what to do about free Wi-Fi. Roaming fees can add up, so most people rely on free Wi-Fi networks when traveling. The problem is that if you connect to a compromised hotspot, you risk being spied on and suffering personal data theft.

Instead of taking the risk, install a VPN service, like Avast SecureLine VPN. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can make sure that all of your messages, emails, transactions, or photos are secure.

BONUS TIP: Use the VPN to bypass country restrictions so you can watch your favorite shows while traveling.

With just a little advance preparation, you can keep your devices and your data safe when you travel. Don't forget the sunscreen and comfy shoes!

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