According to new Kaspersky Lab research, connected devices are becoming a travel essential, with 39 percent of people responding in a survey that they could not imagine traveling without their device. The research also revealed that many consumers worry about the problems they could face if they are without their device while away from home, such as getting lost or not having access to important travel documents.
Imagine you are in a foreign country, lost, and unable to use your device to get in touch with anyone who can help you. When phones or tablets break, when devices run out of battery, or when connections go awry, travelers could find themselves facing such a scenario. In fact, Kaspersky Lab research found that one-in-six people (17%) have had travel issues as a consequence of losing connectivity.
The research revealed that people most often rely on their devices while traveling to take photos (63%), navigate in unfamiliar places (55%) and call for help if needed (51%). Therefore, if vacationers are without a connection, they could run into issues such as losing out on precious memories, or worse, being unable to contact family and friends in an emergency. In Kaspersky Lab’s survey, consumers shared anonymous stories about losing a connection while traveling – ranging from missing a call about a flight change, to one anonymous respondent who said that they were stuck in a desert when their smartphone turned off.
While this may be an extreme example, not having a working connection is a concern for many travelers. Kaspersky Lab found that the vast majority of people (84%) would feel stressed if they were lost in an unknown place without their device, and 39 percent worry that something like this could happen to them on a future journey.
“If consumers are reliant on staying connected, that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” said Dmitry Aleshin, vice president for product marketing, Kaspersky Lab. “After all, being connected helps us navigate when we’re traveling, and find the best places to eat, drink and stay. But if we are reliant on devices, let’s not jeopardize our safety by losing that connectivity when we’re out and about in an unfamiliar place.”
For consumers who depend on their devices when traveling, Kaspersky Lab experts recommend the following tips to protect your connection while on the go:
- Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi. When traveling, it can be tempting to connect to free wireless networks available at airports, hotels and restaurants – but this is an easy way for cybercriminals to intercept your data. Do not connect to Wi-Fi networks that are not password-protected, and never log in to banking or other sensitive sites while on public Wi-Fi. Consider using a VPN solution that can encrypt all your data transmitted over public networks, keeping it safe from attackers.
- Back-up your devices before leaving. If a traveler’s device is lost, broken or compromised, it can be as devastating as losing a passport or wallet. Before leaving home, securely backup data on any devices that you are bringing to the cloud or to a device that you are leaving at home, and do not bring more devices than necessary with you.
- Password-protect your mobile devices. Recent Kaspersky Lab research found that more than half of consumers do not password-protect their devices, leaving all of their data vulnerable if their device is lost or stolen. Locking your device with a password can help protect all your personal information, photos and online accounts.
- Use an anti-theft solution. Whether your device has built-in anti-theft capabilities or you leverage a third-party security solution, make sure that you are using anti-theft technology that offers capabilities to track the location of your device, remotely turn on the sound or an alarm, or wipe all of the data on it.
Installing reliable security software across all devices can also give travelers peace of mind that they will not run into trouble with their devices while away from home. Kaspersky Security Cloud is a security solution available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices, which can adapt to provide protection suited to each user, the environment they are in, how they are connecting and with what device.
For more information on Kaspersky Lab’s research, read the full report, “Online or Lost: Our Constant Connection Dependency.”