With the rise of smartphones and more phone networks becoming available overseas, most travelers are bringing their devices with them abroad. Unfortunately, this has increased opportunities for thieves to steal phones and information from tourists. Here are some tips to keep your phone safe while you travel abroad.

Invest in a Phone Case

This may seem like a no-brainer, but having a good-quality phone case really helps prevent broken phones. There are also businesses that provide screen shields to prevent cracked screens. When you’re traveling, your phone will go through extra wear and tear, so added protection is a wise idea.

Don’t Put Your Phone in Obvious Pockets

Your pants pockets and backpacks are the first places that pickpockets might target, so make sure you keep your phone in a place that’s hard to access. Treat your phone as currency; in many places, your phone is considered very valuable. Also, don’t flash your phone around, especially if it’s an expensive one. If you make it obvious you have expensive electronics, you will be more likely to have it stolen.

Don’t Put Your Phone on the Table

A common thief strategy is to place a newspaper on the table over your phone and then pick it up, taking your phone as well. In general, don’t leave your phone unattended anywhere.

Use a VPN

With the rise in smartphones, another valuable thieves target is information in your phone. Often, networks are not secure, leaving your phone vulnerable to attack. To combat this, get a VPN, a virtual private network. This sets up an encrypted network, which helps keep your data safe. NEVER access your bank account through your phone on an unprotected network.

Get Insurance

No matter how much you prepare, the unthinkable can still happen. In this case, backing up the files on your phone and getting insurance is a good preventative measure. That way, if your phone does end up lost or stolen, your files will still be safe.

—Heather Moon

Photo by Stefan Klauke Copyright © 2013