No matter where you are headed this summer or how you are getting there, you should plan to protect your phone along the way. Water, sand, heat, hackers, and even pickpockets are out to get your phone while you are on vacation. Close to home or far away, your summer plans can be more enjoyable when you know that your phone is protected, inside and out.
In the Car
While driving to your vacation spot, your phone’s temperature is probably the last thing on your mind. Yet, just like any other device, your phone can get overheated, which could cause permanent internal damage. According to Taylor Casti at Mashable “Extremely warm or cold temperatures can have noticeable effects on your phone's battery, display, and synthetic housing components.” In fact, Casti says it is even possible to kill your phone by essentially frying it in the heat. One simple step to keeping your phone from overheating is to not leave it in your hot car on your trip. Lifehacker says that your phone should be shielded from any heat that is 90 degrees or higher. If your iPhone gets over heated, you might get the dreaded “too hot” message. If that happens to you, stick your iPhone in front of your AC for a bit and let it have a nice cool down. Never put your phone directly in the fridge or freezer, as that would be a little too cold.
In a Café
As you are leisurely relaxing in the corner café on vacation, you log onto free Wi-Fi to give your data a break as you check some emails. Though this might seem harmless, it is one of the simplest ways to set your phone up for hacks. “When you are traveling you want to be fully aware that there are ways information can leak out of your phone”, says Terry Jost, in an article with Travel and Leisure.
Here are 4 simple things you can do to protect your phone against hacks while you travel:
- If you are connecting to public Wi-Fi, make sure you are logging on to the correct connection for the establishment. Any crook can create a fake Wi-Fi connection.
- Set up a PIN and encryption. This is relatively simple to complete under your phone’s settings, yet will set up a protective wall that will make any hacker work harder to get to your information.
- Turn off Wi-Fi auto connects. Your smart phone is constantly searching for a reliable network to connect to, and when auto connect is enabled, it will automatically connect to a network to which it has previously connected. Hackers have been known to set up Wi-Fi beacons, which can deceive your phone into auto connecting.
- Increase your protection with Hotspot Shield. This app, which is available for iPhone and Android, protects you while connected to public Wi-Fi. Hotspot Shield creates a virtual private network (VPN) through which your information is encrypted. Oh, and the basic version is free.
At the Airport
All of the same dangers of using public Wi-Fi are lurking while you are at the airport, as well. Yet, hacking is not the only concern for your phone in a bustling airport. Throughout your airport experience, your phone is at risk for being stolen. According to Jessica Dolcourt with CNET, this is a real possibility, “Smartphones make good targets because their relatively small size makes them easy to snatch and hide, their ubiquity makes them easy to move and their high value makes them a good return on a thief's investment, netting hundreds of dollars for a quick crime.” The best thing you can do in an airport to physically protect your phone is to keep it close to you. Coincidentally, we suggest that you check out a Turtleback Holster Case so that you can keep your phone close at all times.
At the Hotel
Traveling out of the country? How are you going to be charging your phone? Depending on where you are traveling, there is a chance you could fry your phone to a crackly crisp just by charging your phone. Don’t let that happen. Please. You can avoid that by researching about the power outlets and voltages for your country of origin. It is important to remember that considering outlet shape is not enough. Considering the voltage is a vital step in this process. “If you use an adapter to plug a device into the foreign outlet, it may become damaged if your electric device doesn’t support the voltage” explains Howtogeek.com. If your device is not compatible with the voltage for the country you will be visiting, you will need a voltage converter to keep your phone from, well, lighting on fire.
On the Beach
The tiny specks of grit, or sand, can get inside your phone’s internal mechanisms and silently saws away at them. In this day and age, you probably want to take your phone with your to the beach. So if you do, take steps to protect your phone from the sandpaper… oh, I mean sand.
Smart Phone Condoms are hilarious products that are meant to make your smart phone instantly beach ready. Yes, the name is funny, but it seems like these products might actually do what they claim to by fully wrapping your phone and not letting anything in. Similar to the idea of sticking your phone in a plastic bag, phone condoms allow you to still have access to most of your phone’s features.
Another, more durable option for protecting your phone from the beach is Otterbox cases. They do not just protect against water, but can protect against sand, too. Our holster cases can keep your phone close to you on the beach, instead of letting it drop on the sand.
Also, it might be a good idea to pack a can of compressed air for your beach trip. If sand does squirm it’s way into your phone (or under your case and onto your screen), compressed air can get it out. Don’t wait to do this though, the longer the sand is in your phone, the more likely it is to cause damage.
By the Lake
The only thing worse for your phone than sand has to be water. Your smart phone has delicate inner workings, which can completely halt at the sight of water, like kryptonite. Let’s be honest, none of us plan to get our phone wet (unless you’re using one of these) yet, things do not always go according to plan. The best way to avoid the water, when you are by the water, is putting your phone in a protective case. Otterbox is one of the top brands for smart phone case durability. Bonus: These Holster Cases pair perfectly with Otterbox products.
What to do if it does get wet? Gazelle intentionally drowned multiple smart phones in order to test the effectiveness of well-known drying tactics. They found that, if your phone does get wet, the first few minutes of action are the most important. Also, the well-known remedy of laying your phone in uncooked rice is not that effective. “We recommend focusing on shaking, blowing, or vacuuming as much water out of the phone as you can before trying to dry out your device. Once you’ve gotten as much water as possible out, silica gel or instant rice may be helpful, but only if you use a large quantity”, explains Scott Lyman with Gazelle.
As you prep for your summer adventures, do not forget to make arrangements for your phone as well. Jessica Dolcourt, with CNET, said it best, “Ultimately, the best advice to protect yourself from frustration and grief is to combine software security measures with physical, visual deterrents to make yourself and your phone smaller targets. ” Do us all a favor and watch out for your phone this summer.