Employees who use their smartphones and other mobile devices while traveling face greater risk that their devices will be compromised, posing a threat to corporate systems. Travelers can minimize the risk by taking a few simple and inexpensive precautions.CSO Senior Writers Steve Ragan and Fahmida Rashid outline how they prepared for their recent trip to the Black Hat event in Las Vegas. Black Hat is one of the biggest hacker conventions and notorious for having attendees\u2019 phones breached. If you can survive Black Hat without your mobile device compromised, you can trust it to be reasonably secure anywhere. Here\u2019s how Ragan and Rashid stayed safe at Black Hat.Turn off services until you need themDisable your WiFi and Bluetooth. \u201cSome people go to extremes when they prepare to travel for business and some people do the basics. I'm a basic type,\u201d says Ragan. \u201cThe easiest thing to do, is you disable your WiFi, disable your Bluetooth. I'm very limited when I use my phone. When I'm walking around the floor, I have those two services disabled."Turn on airplane mode when you believe there could be active scanning of your phone. \u201c[Scanning] is what Black Hat is going to be about. Somebody's always going to be scanning,\u201d says Rashid. \u201cI hear people say, \u2018Oh, I'm going to wipe my laptop and come with a brand new machine, or get a phone I've never used.' Turn off the network, turn off the Bluetooth. No one can get to your phone now."Granted, Black Hat presents an extreme risk, but travelers are often using their devices while on the road with a false sense of security. \u201cWhen you travel to Kansas City for that meeting, are you not worried about the hotel you're going to?\u201d says Ragan. \u201cYou think free AT&T WiFi is normal? You're going to go ahead and connect to that anyway?\u201d\u201cOr if you're at Starbucks and you decide that you don't care about what that guy over on that table is doing, it's the same threat model,\u201d says Rashid. If in doubt, turn off what you\u2019re not using.Use VPNWhen you must use your computer or phone, do so over a VPN. \u201cI use VPN on my mobile devices, since our corporate VPN is an any connect system. It's on my Android phone. It's on my tablet. It's basically another layer. The VPN protecting my connection doesn't have to be just a computer. All my mobile devices get the same treatment,\u201d says Rashid. \u201cBefore I go on a trip, I make sure VPN is on my device.\u201dMake sure you have the most recent security updatesIt takes only a few minutes to check to make sure your tablet, notebook PC, or smartphone has the most recent system update. \u201cMake sure everything's updated. That's going to give you a little leg up on anybody's who's playing around,\u201d says Ragan.Use an encrypted messaging appDon\u2019t have access to a VPN? Several apps such as Signal Private Messenger and WhatsApp will allow you to send and receive messages in encrypted form. Then, even if your communications are being scanned and monitored, they will be unreadable.Your credit card is also a mobile deviceSome credit cards contain RFID chips that enable payment by waving the card near a scanner. It\u2019s possible for credit card thieves to scan these cards. They need to be in close proximity to the card, but that\u2019s easier to do at a large, crowded event like Black Hat. If you want your card to be absolutely secure, you can buy credit card blocker sleeves or wallets.For the business traveler who has everythingThere is one way to secure all your mobile devices and make a fashion statement while you\u2019re doing it. \u201cI've got this nifty coat. It's got a Faraday cage in a pocket. All I have to do is slip my phone right in, no wireless signal goes in, nothing goes out,\u201d says Rashid. \u201cI miss phone calls. I miss text messages, but it means nobody can get anything in any of these pockets. This is probably the most secure item in my wardrobe, and I love it."