TravelWhen traveling abroad, there are a lot of ways a smartphone can be stolen, lost, hacked or damaged. Anything from flights to cruises increases the risk of a broken device while on vacation or a business trip, and most people would admit, without their phone, they're a little helpless.

Here are five ways to protect your smartphone while traveling:

1. Don't join unencrypted public Wi-Fi networks

 

This might seem like a complicated task for non-computer savvy folks, but simply put, you should never join a Wi-Fi network that doesn't require a password or ID for access.

According to PC World, there are two standard Wi-Fi connections for mobile devices, which include WEP (wireless equivalent privacy) and WPA (wireless protected access), with the latter being a more secure network.

These types of connections can arise anywhere in public like coffee shops, malls, and hotels. However, hackers can access your mobile device on unprotected networks and steal important information like Apple store accounts, passwords, credit card numbers, email logins and bank account information. Taking the risk for a few minutes of free Wi-Fi could cost you a lot.

2. Use smartphones discreetly

 

When you're traveling - especially when abroad - you can come off touristy to the locals because you don't know where you are going, and everything around you is exciting and new. That's fine. However, when you're pulling out your brand new iPhone and taking numerous pictures, texting and making a lot of calls, you're essentially flashing hundreds of dollars to thieves, the Financial Post reported.

The best way to prevent a theft is to be discreet. If you're on vacation, you'll want to take plenty of pictures, which is fine, but you should never have all your electronic devices out because the cost of theft grows as more shiny devices are out in the open. Keep one device out at a time and make sure it's secure in your hands and bag while traveling. If you only have your phone for a camera, don't keep it out after taking pictures. Shoot put away and move on.

3. Check on your smartphone before leaving anywhere

 

When you're out in a new town traveling, you might hit up several restaurants, museums, attractions and bars all in one night. With your likely inexperience of the location, it can be easy to forget all the places you were on a day your smartphone.

To avoid having to retrace all your steps make sure you and your party check everything before leaving. Make sure you and your friends have everything before you move on to the next spot. By taking these extra steps, you can ensure you have your device at all times.

4. Set highest security standards on the phone

 

You should always have the highest security settings on your phone, but it's even more important when traveling to new locations. For business travelers, extremely important information pertaining to your company could be on your personal device, so protect it with the best settings. According to the Financial Post, 32 percent of smartphones have work email information and passwords to bank accounts.

5. Invest in personal insurance

 

It's easy to lose or break a phone and have it stolen while on vacation or traveling to foreign countries. To stay protected, purchase personal insurance to get a working and new smartphone in your hands no matter the situation. Instead of relying on a phone company's insurance, use personal insurance to replace the phone with no questions asked and get your life back to normal.