The world is crazy, seemingly descending into chaos. Except it’s not. The world isn’t a Hollyweird movie.
People are still going along with their business, mostly peacefully, just as they do. And save for some unforeseen Black Swan which wipes out the masses like bed bugs on a burning mattress, they’ll keep doing so.
Maybe I’ll be wrong about this in a few years, but much of the fear of international travel, even now, is unfounded. (Just be nimble on your feet and stay off of mountains during rainy seasons.) And it’s usually worth it, if you can, to get out of the thought bubble that is your country every once in awhile.
The world isn’t “small,” like the technocrats tell you. It’s incredibly big. Like boggle the mind big. And it’s not Mission Impossible, either. But you should take a few precautions.
Inevitably, you’re going to look like a tourist. And that opens you up to being someone’s target — whether it be a pickpocket, a mugger, a hacker or worse.
As my colleague Jason Hanson always says, being aware of your surroundings goes a long way.
Beyond that, though, here are three important ways to protect your devices, data, belongings and yourself overseas.
1.] Theft-resistant bag
I always bring a small backpack along to carry what I need throughout the day, stowing away the rest of my stuff somewhere safe.
And when I go to cities like Sao Paolo, Prague or Hanoi — places known for their crafty pickpockets — I make sure my bag can stand up to any unforeseen pressure.
Which is why it’s prudent to find a good anti-theft backpack. Here’s what I suggest…
This one’s made by TravelOn.
First of all, this bag has slash-resistant panels and straps. One common way thieves nab your stuff is to come up behind you and slash and grab. They’ll slash through the panels or the straps and run off with whatever they can snatch. Not with this bag.
Second, it has locking zippers. So nobody can just unzip and run, either.
Third, it has RFID blocking card and passport holders… because, although this threat is waning, you never know.
Fourth, it’s not eye-catching or flashy. Meaning, it doesn’t out you as some goofy tourist with money. Which is nice.
2.] Charge safely
At some point, you’re going to need to charge your phone while you’re out and about. And you’re going to come across a convenient USB charging spot just at the right time.
Here’s something very few people know: It’s EXTREMELY easy for hackers to infect public charging pods with malware. Like so easy a toddler could do it. The same goes for those little portable charging batteries people might offer up to you, too.
Every time you plug your phone in to charge, you’re also opening it up to receiving data. It’s a two-lane street. And you’re vulnerable everywhere with a USB plugin.
I suspect airports, libraries and the like are infested with viruses.
Fortunately, there’s a clever solution.
It’s called the Portapow.
Not only does this little device put your into fast charge mode from any USB socket, sucking out as much power as it possibly can, it also blocks any and all data transfer. No virus will get beyond its hallowed walls.
Just plug it in and then plug your device into it. Simple as that.
3.] The only self-defense tool you can take anywhere.
I’ve traveled to over a dozen countries, over 50 airports, with this self-defense tool in my carry-on.
One TSA officer, during a private screening, even pulled it out of my bag, studied it carefully for a moment and said, “Almost had me fooled. This for self-defense?”
“Yep,” I said.
“Where you headed again?”
“Mexico,” I told him.
He put it back and zipped up my bag.
“Be safe,” he said as he sent me along my way.
It doesn’t look like a weapon. But it could protect you in a dire situation.
I got mine from Jason Hanson, our former CIA officer turned self-defense expert. He’ll show you what it is, how it works and how to get one today. Click here for his short explainer video.
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
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