2 killed, dozens injured when bus from Huntsville crashes in Mississippi

How to Avoid Unwanted Data Charges & Protect Yourself While Traveling This Summer

For many, summer is synonymous with traveling.  So, before you head out on adventures abroad, follow these tips to cut down those expensive cell phone charges:

  1. Disable Data Roaming: Generally, when you are traveling abroad, your mobile network provider will be out of signal. To use data, such as texts, mobile apps and internet (without Wi-Fi), your phone will roam for a different network’s signal.  Subsequently, your mobile network provider can bill incredibly high amounts for data roaming. To avoid these charges, turn off data roaming.
  2. Go into Airplane Mode: If you want to access the internet or other apps on your smartphone, enable Airplane Mode in your phone’s settings. This automatically turns off your data but allows you to still enable Wi-Fi. You will not be able to make calls or texts on Airplane mode but there are apps for that! A Wi-Fi enabled alternative for texting is WhatsApp, which allows you to send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages with friends. For Wi-Fi enabled phone calls, there is a free app called WhatsApp, which allows you to call, text, or send pictures with contacts who also have the app.
  3. Turn Off Push Notifications: Whenever your phone sends you a push notification about a new email, text, missed call, etc., it is using data. To save money on data usage charges, turn these notifications off. For more tips, go to mashable.com

As a vacation approaches, excitement heightens, and the focus is on making sure all the essentials are packed and ready to go but what most people forget to do on vacation is be aware of their security. With an increased use of credit cards, public Wi-Fi, and tagging your location on social media, the risk of identity theft increases.

Here are some security tips to keep in mind while preparing for your next summer getaway:

  • Keep software up to date to protect your computer from any new malware that could be released while away. Most software applications give you the option to update automatically which is the best way to ensure they are always up-to-date.
  • Never assume a Wi-Fi hotspot is secure. Most public hotspots, such as airports, coffee shops, and hotels are not secure networks. To protect your information when taking advantage of free Wi-Fi is to try and avoid having to send out secure information while on the network. If you absolutely must, make sure the website is fully encrypted and wait to use mobile apps that require personal or financial information once disconnected from the network.
  • If you a frequent user of Wi-Fi while traveling, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).  A VPN creates an encrypted connection between your device and the VPN provider’s network. This allows you to securely connect to the Wi-Fi while keeping your exchanges private.
  • Be cautious when using public charging stations. If using the USB cord without the wall charger port, the USB can be used to transfer data onto your device or copy sensitive data to an unknown source.
  • Check the location services in your phone’s settings before departing for your vacation. If you don’t want to share where you are, consider turning off location services. If you use social media apps, be sure to check the default settings to know if your location is shared along with each post.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to https://www.bbb.org