Ready for a Shopping Spree in Milan? Don’t Forget About Your Money’s Digital Safety

Ready for a Shopping Spree in Milan? Don’t Forget About Your Money’s Digital Safety

Even in Milan, hackers and scammers are always cruising for victims who they hope may be loaded. As a tourist, you’ll probably stand out, and not just because of your gorgeous shoes! Anyone doing the rounds of the world-famous luxury fashion shopping and tourist attractions will get extra attention from people with criminal intent. However, you’re more likely to run into dangerous and invisible digital criminals than pickpockets or thieves.

That’s because your smartphone is not just another fashion accessory. You’ll be using it to shop, stay in touch with loved ones, do research, and receive updates. Your phone also contains all of your most private information, secrets, chats, videos, selfies, and credit card and banking info. A stolen phone poses a massive security risk, and it could bring your entire experience to a screeching halt.

But, can you say: “Quatro Staggioni” yet?

Just like the legendary Italian Four Seasons pizza is revered as the perfect combination of classic pizza toppings, we advise you to adopt the ideal quartet of good cyber security practices to protect your digital security before you go.

Start with the “Quattro Staggioni” of cybersecurity

Phones should always have the following installed: antimalware, secure storage, password manager, and VPN. If you’re savvy, you could get even get a top-notch security solution that includes all of the services in one package. Does a VPN protect you from hackers? Absolutely, if you consider VPN services with additional features, such as:

  • Antivirus software: You need something to protect you while you’re out googling the best place to grab dinner. Some of those listings and links may be in Italian, and you could easily click on a link that delivers malware.
  • Secure storage: Get those precious photos and memories straight into secure cloud storage if you lose your phone or tablet during an outing.
  • A password manager: You’ll need a password manager to navigate all of the websites where you track your money, flight and hotel bookings, and emails. Plus, you’ll need to monitor your social media accounts where you can bask in envious comments of stay-at-home friends.
  • Secure Internet connection: Public Wi-Fi networks are dangerous and kind of dirty - and not in a sexy way! You may be forced to use them out of necessity, but you should never connect without some protection. Always use a VPN to encrypt your internet connections, shield your passwords, and create a secure environment where your chats stay private.

Prepare for your trip with a checklist

As everyone who has ever had an important social event knows that those “effortless perfection” end-results need a lot of elaborate preparation. The route to doing justice to a glorious outfit may include weeks of gym sessions, silky hair extensions, a Brazilian blowout, laser treatments, wax dips, and losing a last-minute extra inch.

Similarly, the key to an unforgettable shopping spree is to plan before you even start packing. And we’re not talking Instagrammable outfits here. We’re discussing keeping you digitally safe while living in la dolce vita. So, once you have a VPN to protect you from hackers, here is a list of easy, effective tips you should take before you even board that flight.

Milan shopping

10 Actionable tips to prepare your device against hackers

Good phones and tablets are expensive. That makes them prime targets and lucrative prizes for thieves. Consider the possibility of getting a more basic device for your trip rather than risking your top-of-the-range device. But if that sounds a little extreme, read on for more tips that won’t require any sacrifice.

  • Back up everything on your phone into the cloud. If the worst happens and you have to replace your phone, you can transfer all your data to a new phone without a hitch.
  • Activate your phone’s tracking app, or stick a digital tag on it so you can always find it if you lose sight.
  • Activate your phone’s remote wiping capability, or install an app to do the dirty deed if you lose control of your device. You may mourn the loss of your favorite phone, but at least your personal data will be safe.
  • Install or activate your phone’s 2FA or biometric lock protection. If the worst happens and a thief snatches it, you’ll at least be able to gloat over the fact that he won’t be able to use or sell it.
  • Encrypt your data and credentials in a secure phone data vault.
  • Protect all of your accounts with strong, unique passwords.
  • Update your device with all the latest software and security updates.
  • Turn off any file sharing.
  • Turn off location sharing to protect your location from privacy-invading mobile phone apps.
  • Turn off Bluetooth, auto-connections, and mobile hotspot hunting. It’s a notoriously dangerous feature because your phone might be automatically connecting to fake hotspots and WiFi honeypots while you’re having lunch.  Unencrypted internet connections can broadcast your banking credentials and logins in plain text across the internet.

Cyber Safety is not just for traveling to Milan

Remember, you need cyber safety everywhere, not just while traveling abroad. Safeguarding your digital security is important at home and work because you’re just as likely to find cyber-criminals at the local shopping mall as in the Milan shopping district.

So, are you ready for some Dolce and Gabbana yet?