Save your data while traveling with these easy setting changes

If you’re like most people, you can’t imagine your daily life without your smartphone. Sure, you can complain that your kids or grandchildren always seem to be staring at a flashing-blue screen.

But you probably stare at your smartphone, too. Don’t feel guilty about it (but be careful).

Smartphones are a fact of life. You use them for GPS directions in the car. You use them to take photos and videos and of course, you get updates about your family and friends on Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites.

One of the great things about smartphones is that it’s so easy to use free Wi-Fi to avoid using up your data plan. You most likely have Wi-Fi at home, but you can find free Wi-Fi almost everywhere these days, be it your hotel room, restaurant, or shopping center.

If you travel, you use Wi-Fi to stay connected on an airplane or halfway around the world. The problem is that Wi-Fi isn’t always free when you’re abroad. In fact, you may be bothered by large roaming charges.

Before you hit the road, call your cellphone provider to ask about the extra charges you’ll be traveling with. Then, follow these four steps to make sure you don’t come home to a staggering cellphone bill.

1. Google Maps Offline

How often do you use Google Maps? You probably use it all the time.

It’s a great way to feel safe. You know you will get to your destination without getting lost or stopping in dangerous places to ask for directions.

You probably know that using maps churns through your data plan. So, if you are traveling where you will pay to access maps, make sure you have downloaded a map of your location.

You can do this at home also. Once downloaded, you can use offline maps of your area without any internet access.

Download Google Maps on Android: Open your Google Maps app while connected to the Internet >> Choose the place you’ll be traveling >> Tap on the name of your place >> Download >> Download Offline Maps.

Download Google Maps on iPhone: Open your Google Maps app while connected to the Internet >> Choose a place you’ll be traveling to >> Tap on the name of your place >> Save Maps to use offline (or it says Download could).

2. Turn off Automatic Downloads

There’s a good chance that you don’t even pay attention to the apps you download automatically on your smartphone. Apps are automatically downloaded so often that it is a part of everyday life.

It’s fine when you’re using free Wi-Fi. It’s not so good when you’re paying a lot of money on your vacation to do it. So, turn off those automatic downloads.

Android: Google Play Store >> Tap the 3-line menu icon in the top left >> Settings >> Auto update apps >> Select Don’t auto-update apps.

iPhone: Settings >> iTunes & App Store >> Automatic Downloads >> Turn Off Apps.

3. Download Music
Have you ever found yourself on a long journey and realized that you have no music to listen to? not good!

If you’re on a plane, you can pay to use their Wi-Fi to listen to tunes. It can be expensive. But when you’re in the air for six, seven, eight or more hours, you get desperate.

Don’t find yourself in that situation. Instead, open your Music app. Go to the menu and look for the option to download music. If you’re at home or you’re safely using free public Wi-Fi, download the music you want to listen to on vacation.

Don’t find yourself in that situation. Instead, open your Music app. Go to the menu and look for the option to download music. If you’re at home or you’re safely using free public Wi-Fi, download the music you want to listen to on vacation.

They can tap into your Internet connection to see which websites you are visiting. They can see your bank account password and other personal information.

Instead, use a virtual private network or VPN. These are encrypted web browsers like Opera VPN that scour your information so that hackers cannot see what you are doing. They hide your device’s IP address, making you visible thousands of miles away.

Now that you’ve saved your data, it’s time to protect it

Many Americans travel frequently for one reason or another. Maybe you’re heading to a sunny beach during the holidays to get away from the daily grind or visit family and friends. Or you may be a businessman who is constantly traveling for work. No matter what is the reason for your visit, you must be on the lookout for cybercriminals who are trying to steal your important information.

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