The holiday season is around the corner, and many of us will be heading to a coastal city or other vacation retreats to recharge and relax. Unfortunately, many criminals also use the holiday to earn their pound of flesh, and this is often in the form of electronics, which still sell readily on the black market.

The following tips will help you keep your cellphone and personal information safe this festive season, and to ensure it’s the season for giving, but not unintentionally so:

Before you leave

Back up all the contacts, data, photos and other information on your phone before you leave for your holiday. Don’t tempt fate by assuming your cellphone won’t get lost or stolen, and prepare for this instance, just in case. It’s often the sentimental and sensitive information that we worry about most when a device is lost or stolen, so make sure you have backups of these.

Also check that “find-my-phone” and remote wiping services are turned on. In the instance that your phone does get lost or stolen, this might help with locating it again, or at the very least, help you to wipe all personal information from it if you can’t.

It goes without saying, but make sure you have some sort of security measure like password and biometric protection to prevent criminals from accessing your phone without some hassle.

On the beach

If you don’t have a bag or a pocket to keep your cellphone in when you’re on the beach, use a security pouch or waistband. Some of the ones that are available are also waterproof, in case you’re scared of your mobile getting wet. Carrying your phone around in your hand will attract the attention of thieves, so it’s best to keep it hidden.

Another option is to cut open an empty sunscreen bottle, clean it out and use it to store your phone and other valuables. Should criminals rummage through your bag while you aren’t looking, chances are they won’t care much for your SPF50.

In a hotel or guest house

Despite the fact that we consider these safe places to leave valuables, there are still criminals who take advantage of this trust. Even if you are planning to leave your device in your room while you go out, still take care to store it behind lock and key, and take the key with you.

Keeping your personal information safe

We all like to save on data when and where we can, but beware of using WiFi hotspots that are not secure – only stick to those that are run by the establishment you are staying at.

Beware of public hotspots that don’t require a password, and take care not to use public hotspots to do any banking transactions or to enter sensitive passwords. Also turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them, to avoid hackers finding you and trying their luck.

Our mobile devices have become much more than a communication tool and today they are essential in documenting our holiday destinations. Just taking some basic extra care will help you to come home with your phone and some good memories.

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