We know you’re looking for ways to make planning your summer getaways easier and cheaper, but what about the safety and privacy of your data and devices? We don’t think protecting your devices while traveling shouldn’t be hard or expensive and that’s why we’re sharing 11 smart (and cheap!) travel hacks to keep all of your devices and data protected during your trip.

11 Genius Travel Hacks That’ll Protect Mobile Devices

1. Beach-proof your smartphone using a Ziplock bag

Photo Credit : FaithTap

Headed to the beach or water park? Put your phone in a sandwich-sized Ziplock bag for a water and sand-resistant barrier. Better yet, you’ll still be able to use your phone’s touchscreen.

2. Use a VPN if you want to use a public wi-fi network

We know you want to stay connected with friends and loved ones at home, but be careful! Hackers can easily snoop on your online activity if you connect your computer or smartphone to an insecure, public wi-fi network. If you must connect, use a virtual private network (VPN)–many of which are free or offer an affordable short-term subscription. Furthermore, only use a password protected wi-fi connection and avoid accessing sensitive accounts, like your email and online banking accounts.

3. Use a password generator to create a unique 6-digit passcode for your devices

Stop using “1111”, “1234” or your birthday as your phone or tablet’s passcode! Instead, create a randomly generated passcode, use Dashlane’s Password Generator! It’ll help you pick an unpredictable number combination that you can use for your phone’s passcode or an online banking account’s PIN code.

4. Backup your data before your trip

In the unfortunate case that your phone, computer, or tablet is lost or stolen, the hassle of re-downloading all of your apps and data can be painstakingly difficult. Instead, before you leave for your trip, make sure you backup your devices on the Cloud or on a portable hard drive stored in a safe location.

5. Invest in a protective phone case 

Before your trip, consider purchasing a protective case for your phone or tablet. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure you prevent any scratches or cracks that could not only damage the look of your phone, but may also lead to some technical issues in the future. Also, consider purchasing a protective case for your laptop to keep it safe in your carry-on luggage and when you’re going through airport security.

6. Enable a tracking app to help find lost or stolen devices

This isn’t a foolproof method of finding a lost or stolen device, but you should consider downloading and enabling the “Find My iPhone / iPad / Mac” app on Apple devices or use Android Lost, Google’s Android Device Manager, or another third-party tracking app on Android. However, if you don’t enable these apps before your device is lost or stolen, you may be out of luck.

7. Add your emergency contact information to your phone’s background

Photo credit: Pinterest/Channel Mobile

Another lifehack that could help if your device is lost is to change the background on your phone, tablet, or laptop to a picture containing your name and an emergency contact number. Alternatively, put a sticker on the back of your device with the same information.

8. Use a hand-held fan to keep your phone from overheating.

While you’re out tanning on the beach, don’t let your phone fry in the heat. If your phone overheats, it could cause your phone to shut down, drain your battery, or worse, melt your battery and its CPU. During your trip, don’t stash your phone or tablet in the car, keep it out of direct sunlight, and don’t stack it on top of other electronics. Instead, use an electronic hand-held fan or keep it in a cool, shady spot.

9. Disguise our valuables to keep your devices out of the hands of thieves

Photo credit: Hip2Save

The best way to keep your devices safe is to make sure you keep them out of plain sight. Don’t store your devices it in an obvious compartment in your bag, but look for create ways to stash items like money, IDs and credit cards, and your phone. Instead, disguise your valuables in items that are unlikely to be stolen, like in a used sunscreen or lotion bottle, in a used snack container, or a clean baby diaper. Better yet, keep any wearables, computers, or tablets in your hotel room’s safe whenever before you leave.

10. Turn off automatic Bluetooth connectivity

Whenever you’re not using your Bluetooth connection to rock out to some summertime tunes, disable your Bluetooth connectivity whenever it’s not in use. You’ll not only save some battery power, but you’ll also prevent prying eyes from easily gaining access to your devices.

11. Use a free password manager to secure your online accounts

Best App for College Students: Dashlane Password Manager

Travelers are easy targets Identity thieves and scammers, which is why it’s extremely important to protect sensitive accounts, like online financial and banking accounts, social media profiles, email accounts, and more. To secure these accounts, use a password manager, like Dashlane, with a built-in password generator tool to help you create strong, unique passwords. Dashlane will also give you in-app Security Alerts when a major security incident occurs and you’ll be able to quickly update a weak or compromised password with one-tap or click using Password Changer!

Pro Tip: add an additional layer of protection by enabling two-factor authentication on all of your sensitive accounts.

These are only a few useful travel hacks that’ll help protect your devices. Did you use a travel hackduring a recent trip? Tell us what it is and how it worked in the comments below!