I admit that I’m one of those people who now relies on technology for most aspects of my life. I do business online, pay my bills online, manage my investments online, communicate online and well, basically, run my life online.
However, this weekend, I read an a article in the New York Times entitled Traveling Light In A Time Of Digital Thievery.”
While the majority of the article is about how business people and some government workers have to take extra precaution in some countries they visit to ward of electronic eavesdropping and thievery, it got me wondering—how much does a leisure traveler have to worry about the same things?
When I first started to seriously travel, there was no internet, email, cellphones,smartphones, tablets or the like. Every day I had to call my answering service to see if anyone needed me. If an important message was left, the only option was to call. In most cases, problems would have to wait until I got home.
Not anymore. I can instantly get in touch with almost anyone anywhere without having to actually talk to them. I can buy or trade stocks via my broker’s app, I can respond to emails or text messages, or even “chat” live, I can take care of banking business, edit this website, and if need be even talk to someone—and all via my smartphone. I don’t even need a computer.
But is it now safe to do that? Is it better to use a smartphone or a regular computer? How much difference does a tablet have over these other devices? Is using an app to connect safer than using the smartphone or tablet browser? Or are they all susceptible to hacking?
If it isn’t safe to log on to take care of personal business why bother taking any of these devices with me? But if I don’t, how do I, in this world of cyberspace, keep everything going?
Where is it safe to log on when away from home or office? Should I preload passwords so I automatically log onto a site when I go to it, or is it safer not to? But if I don’t, and I type it in, can someone then steal that password?
I don’t have the answer to these questions. Not being able to “connect” for two or three weeks at a time isn’t realistic.. I guess I’m just going to have to chance it and do the best I can.
But what about all of you? Do any of you take precautions against cybertheft while traveling and what are they? This is an area, I believe, more and more people need to think about.