It’s no secret we are in a Tech Era and AI is being developed to help us with everything. As cool as this is, the average Nigerian still has a long way to go in learning how to leverage technologies in different facets of life. So we put together a few ideas on how to stay safe using technology as it relates to travel within Nigeria. They are:
1. Plan Your Trip Online:
You can do a lot with the internet from the relative safety of your homes e.g. planning your trip online. You can even compare the flight fares of different airlines, hotels and get a range of tour packages using the internet. To avoid stories that touch as regards your travel documents, you can scan them and save them on your PC on the Cloud. Rather than carry large sums of money around to book your flight or bus ticket for your trip, you can now do so online. Get e-tickets, e-passport, emailed travel itinerary, etc. this way there are no stories of being robbed and stranded without cash or travel documents to travel back home in another town. Make sure you have your debit card on you to access the nearest ATM or POS if you need cash to spend. Or you can carry mobile data on your phone for internet banking. These financial options reduce the amount of physical cash on you to enable you to avoid unwanted attention when travelling either inter or intra-city/state.
2. Invest In Smart Travel Devices
If your phone has a weak battery, get and charge a power bank to help keep your phone on throughout the trip. When you find yourself getting worried about pickpockets or bag snatchers, buy anti-theft backpacks or handbags, passport and card holders, money belts to hid cash on you, etc. If you are driving, for instance to Akure from Port Harcourt, make sure your car has a GPS tracker with a geo-fencing feature to allow you to track it if it gets stolen. Also, you can get a smart device attached to the car that monitors your brake’s efficiency to let you know when the breaks are due for servicing or replacement. This will prevent an accident from happening because of brake failure without your prior knowledge.
3. Get The Right Apps On Your Phone
When travelling, make sure you have state security phone numbers and the number of your hotel or contact at your destination on your phone. If you are going abroad, make sure you have the Nigerian Embassy’s contact number reprogrammed into your phone. Get a smartphone with basic apps like Flashlight, Compass, Weather tracker, Google Maps; these can help you when you are in a fix. You can download apps like WiFi finder to help search for free WiFi network when your mobile data is out of range. This is handy for emergencies to contact loved ones or state police/rescue officials. You can also download the Find My phone app (For iPhone, it is Find My iPhone while for Android phones; it is Find My Device or Android Device Manager app) as a precautionary damage control measure for when your phone gets stolen. These apps will remotely locate your phone, lock or wipe your device clean once the criminals enter the wrong password multiple times to unlock your phone. Just make sure you configure and enable the settings on your device before you travel.
4. Have a Plan For a Cyber Attack
Before you travel, make sure you have a plan for the possiblity if your phone or debit card gets stolen or lost in an unfamiliar place. Memorise the number of a friend or relative you can call, have them call your bank for a code to block your account to prevent withdrawals and change all your passwords as soon as you have access to the apps on your former devices like on your social media, internet banking, emails, cloud archive and any other account. This will force them to shut down if someone activated them without your permission. Also, be careful how you log into free public WiFi hotspots. Keep your WiFi and Bluetooth off whenever you are not using it or use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) app. Check the settings of your mobile phone’s internet settings, you’ll see the VPN. A VPN app protects your personal data and financial transactions from being accessed by hackers on a public WiFi network. Or you can carry your own MiFi around for your WiFi needs.
Now you know, stay protected!
Featured image source: My Travel Bag