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Using your smartphone safely while on holiday: 5 golden tips

I'm going on holiday and I'm taking ... my smartphone, a charger, a pair of sunglasses and some swimwear.

Your smartphone will certainly come in handy on holiday: it gives you directions, it's your travel guide, your camera and photo album, you can keep in touch with those at home and so much more.

You don't want to be without your device on holiday, but you certainly don't want to be the victim of (cyber) criminals. These 5 tips will help you to fully enjoy a carefree holiday.

1. Make sure your smartphone is up to date

A device with all of the recent updates is much better able to withstand cyber-attacks.  Make sure that all updates of the device and the apps have been completed before you go on holiday.

2. Secure your smartphone with a strong code

Choose a code of at least 6 digits to access your device. This is better than 'a pattern', because the pattern sometimes remains visible on your screen, especially if you have just applied sunscreen. Activate the automatic locking of your smartphone when it is inactive e.g. after one minute.

3. Restrict access to your device

If you use your smartphone a lot for finding your way, you'll probably have your location services switched on.  However, we recommend that geolocation, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC), are only switched on when you need them, so they cannot be misused.

4. Declutter your apps

Only install applications from a standard application store (Google Play, App Store) and from an official retailer. Preferably do this before you go on holiday because your own network is safer. Before you leave, remove any applications you do not use and restrict access of your applications to what is strictly necessary. For example, a travel guide app does not need access to your contacts.

5. Make regular back-ups

The last thing you want is to lose all your holiday photos or contacts. Make regular back-ups (in the cloud) of the data on your smartphone.

Enjoy your holiday!

More tips on safe smartphone use.