Questions tagged [security]

The state of being free from danger or threat. Use with questions about things or money; when referring to people, use "safety" instead. When referring to airport security procedures, use "airport-security" instead.

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109
votes
9answers
32k views

What's the deal with the “string people” in central Paris?

I've taken my fiancée to Paris twice - first for our 1st anniversary, and again for our 4th - and both times we had troubles with guys bothering us around the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. They hang ...
90
votes
7answers
13k views

How do I identify an airport’s official free Wi-Fi network? [closed]

While traveling in the Berlin Tegel airport (TXL), I wanted to get on Wi-Fi. I found three unsecured networks in addition to a number of password-protected networks. _Free_TXL_WiFi airberlin Berlin ...
86
votes
12answers
17k views

What's the safest way to protect your valuables from theft at the beach?

I am travelling solo to Barcelona. I was wondering if anyone has any tip on how to enjoy the beach when travelling alone. As in, is it safe to leave your belongings on the beach when you go for a ...
81
votes
13answers
30k views

Asking same flight customers if they would agree to put my knife in their checked luggage

Issue When flying with only a carry-on allowed, I am often bothered by not being allowed to carry a small knife that I will need at my destination (backpacking trips). So far, every time I faced this ...
81
votes
12answers
20k views

Personal security during a business trip to Moscow

In the next few weeks I’ll be traveling to Russia for about a week on business. While there, I'd like to spend some time, although it won’t be much time, seeing as much of the city and culture as ...
72
votes
4answers
14k views

Smartphone taken from baggage while on layover

We gave a new smartphone to some friends to take to my in-laws in Iran. We turned off the phone before we gave it to them. They were flying with Qatar Airways. They had one stop in Doha. When they ...
70
votes
6answers
19k views

How to get rid of the men who ask for money in Milan?

The men are mostly located in Duomo Square (Piazza del Duomo). They try to tie something to tourists' wrists and ask for money. I have fallen out with them many times. Also my friends who visit Milan, ...
67
votes
11answers
13k views

How do I avoid leaving my passport as a deposit while traveling?

I was looking into activities to do in Seoul and I saw a free public government sponsored bike rental. To use the rental, I need to give them some sort of ID for the duration of the rental. The ID can ...
66
votes
5answers
9k views

Are you protected in an untrusted embassy in a country you trust?

I have a friend in an interesting situation. He suspects that he will be unsafe if he returns to his home country, and he is currently living in the UK with a valid visa. In order to renew his ...
60
votes
4answers
20k views

Are hotel “safes” really a joke to open?

I have seen all kinds of videos on YouTube demonstrating trivial methods of opening hotel safes, the kind that are in the room. In one video the guy opens the safe with a potato. Are these videos ...
59
votes
6answers
20k views

Do airport metal scanners occasionally flash a false alarm on purpose?

I've noticed that occasionally when passing through the metal scanners I am getting flagged despite not having a single metal thing on me. This usually results in a manual search or a hand swipe on ...
54
votes
8answers
7k views

What are good security tactics for sleeping in airports?

Sleeping in airports is something I've found myself doing more often than I ever expected, and while I have no issue with sleeping on the floor or chairs or whatever, sometimes I have valuable stuff, ...
54
votes
2answers
7k views

Why are there ashtrays in the bathrooms on nonsmoking flights?

Airplane bathroom: Why are there ashtrays in the bathrooms on nonsmoking flights?
53
votes
5answers
38k views

What happens if you swab positive for a drug sample at Canadian airports even if you don’t have anything on you?

I’m a mom of one and don’t use or associate with any drug stuff. I recently bought a backpack off a buy and sell and after I got it home I noticed it smelled like cigarettes. So I went through all the ...
52
votes
11answers
10k views

How to safely store my locker key in a hostel at night?

When staying in hostel dorms I usually place my valuables in a locker provided by the hostel and lock it, typically with my own key-padlock. When I go out I take the key with me and I'm perfectly fine ...
51
votes
1answer
11k views

UAE now banning VPN access - fines of up to $545,000? Any workarounds?

According to a few news articles, the UAE is passing a new law with heavy penalties for using a VPN. Another report says: Travelers also come under this law and if caught using any VPNs could ...
50
votes
1answer
10k views

Why are balloons prohibited at Amsterdam Schiphol?

At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport there are prominent No Balloons signs on each entrance to train platforms. What is the story or rationale behind that ban?
48
votes
4answers
198k views

Why did airport security swab my hands with wet paper?

Before entering a commercial plane, I had to go through the usual security check at Prague airport (PRG). When I passed the metal detector, it went off. I assume it was because I forgot to take off my ...
42
votes
15answers
8k views

Tips to avoid forgetting a bag

I have recently left a bag behind in a train. It was a long travel day, and the last stage of it was a train ride with a change half way through. We were in a hurry to catch the connection, and were ...
42
votes
16answers
7k views

Preparing in case ATM/debit cards might go missing during a long trip

I've been pickpocketed twice and had debit cards swallowed by ATMs twice over the past decade or so. I've also had cards expire during a long trip. For my upcoming trip which I envision will last ...
36
votes
15answers
6k views

How to safely use password-protected websites on internet cafe computers

How can I, if possible, safely use password-protected websites (eg GMail) on internet cafe computers? I've heard people say that it's not really safe to use password-protected websites on internet ...
35
votes
2answers
4k views

Are cheap “programmable” combination padlocks known to change their own combinations?

I forgot to bring my padlock for this trip so my hostel in Taipei lent one to me until I buy one, which I keep forgetting to do. The one they lent me is a generic "NO. 20" 4-barrel combination lock. ...
34
votes
8answers
16k views

How can you protect a fragile object like bottle of champagne in your baggage against breaking?

I tend to bring something quite fragile with me as cabin luggage. On my next journey I want to bring a special bottle of champagne (because of sentimental reasons). Unfortunately you can't bring a ...
34
votes
7answers
11k views

Airport security: what if I carry an item with traces of explosive?

One day I was travelling from UK to Switzerland, the security officer at Gatwick airport check (with a kind of swab) all my electronic devices (mainly phone and camera chargers + cables) to see if it ...
30
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I protect camera equipment in checked baggage?

While I usually take my camera equipment in a carry-on when I fly (within the US), that's not always an option (small plane where no carry-on other than my purse is allowed, travelling with too much ...
29
votes
2answers
7k views

US and Canada border crossing and computer privacy: What do I need to know?

I've read stories about border officials searching laptops when crossing the border in one direction or the other. Does this really happen, typically speaking? As a US citizen, can I be forced to ...
28
votes
5answers
9k views

Do North American banks have a key phrase that allows customers to disable all security checks for using the card internationally?

My Canadian bank has an extremely sensitive anti-fraud mechanism that treats all foreign transactions as "suspicious". I do not need those anti-fraud measures (I'm okay with taking the risk) and want ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views

How unsafe is it to leave an expensive laptop at a rented apartment or a cheap hotel room? Which precautions should I take?

I'm going to Odessa, Ukraine, and may have to take my laptop with me for work reasons. I'll be staying at an inexpensive place which I rented online. Is it a very bad idea to leave the laptop in the ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

What to do with your valuables on a low-cost holiday while swimming/diving in Central America?

I am planning to go to central America (Costa Rica + Panama) for a rather budget holiday, and I am wondering what people usually do with their documents, money, cameras, etc. when staying in a budget ...
27
votes
3answers
23k views

Is the TSA Lock acceptable in European Airports?

I understand if you travelling in or to the US, you can lock your luggage using the TSA Luggage Lock. (Immigration is still able to open your luggage using their own special keys) How about Europe? ...
27
votes
4answers
5k views

If a passenger damages another passenger's property (accidentally) on a flight, who is responsible?

This came up after listening to a Rick Steves podcast on travel. He and I have both apparently wondered - when the passenger in front suddenly reclines their seat and nearly decapitates your laptop - ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

Who is responsible for security on an airplane?

I wonder who is responsible for security on an airplane, especially on a flight within Europe. In some countries (e.g. USA) sky marshals counter hijacking, but I don't know if a similar practice ...
25
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I protect my vehicle when left at a trail head for an extended period?

Previously when I went backpacking, the vehicle I left behind at the trail head was, erm, not particularly worth stealing. I'm looking at new vehicles now, and somewhere in the back of my mind is "do ...
25
votes
3answers
6k views

Why do some hostels only allow international visitors?

Some of the hostels in the Gold Coast, Australia, only allow international visitors. I'm a bit surprised at this because the average Australian is not at all dangerous only dangerous in the same way ...
24
votes
3answers
89k views

How to best respond to a request to send a passport scan by unsecured email?

It is not uncommon for travel or holiday accommodation companies to ask for a scan of your passport by email. Sometimes local laws require them to keep a record of the passport numbers of all visitors....
24
votes
3answers
1k views

How to enter East Jerusalem and who controls the separation with the western part

Can non-Muslim people from non-Muslim countries (EU) enter the part of Jerusalem where the famous mosque with yellow top is located? Are the police (or guards) at the entrance Israeli or Palestinian? ...
24
votes
2answers
109k views

Can I pack a cardboard box as checked luggage?

As mentioned in another question, I'm planning on traveling with a desktop computer as checked baggage. After considering the options, I've decided to take it in its original cardboard box (used for ...
23
votes
6answers
8k views

I was told my signature was ripped out of my passport. Should I be worried?

My Mother just returned from a two week trip to New Zealand today. When she arrived back home in the States it was pointed out that the page with her signature in her passport was ripped out making it ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

Are backpack nets an effective deterrent when going to rougher parts of the world?

I am planning on going on a prolonged trip and will be carrying everything that I have on my back for at least a year. I know that most of the 'horror' stories are just that, however thieves will go ...
23
votes
2answers
9k views

How to tell if a travel site is legit?

Tonight I tried to book a long trip for 4 through justairticket.com. I found they had the lowest prices by far - international. So I booked. Was happy. 10 mins later. Cell phone rings. Brian (...
22
votes
6answers
11k views

Is there any way to tell if someone has been through our hotel room?

I ask this question because I frequently go on lengthy trips, and we bring a lot of stuff. For this reason, we use Do Not Disturb signs. But when we get back to the hotel rooms after exploring a ...
22
votes
2answers
8k views

How bad is baggage theft at Johannesburg airport?

South Africa's Johannesburg's airport has a reputation for stolen and rifled baggage and a quick Google search returns many travelers reporting similar stories. My question, is how bad is the ...
22
votes
2answers
822 views

Why would your passports be collected on buses in Chile?

A colleague is travelling in Chile at present, and on a bus trip from San Pedro de Atacama to Arica, the bus driver insisted on collecting and holding on to all their passports for the duration of the ...
21
votes
5answers
50k views

Is TSA lock compulsory for travel to US?

This is my first time travelling to US. All my check-in luggages are made of hard plastic and it has two side locks with key and one number lock in the front. I do not have any bags with TSA locks. Is ...
21
votes
3answers
7k views

Hostel wants my Credit Card security code via email, is this legit?

Why would a hostel I book through HostelWorld want my credit card's security code (on the back)? Are they going to use this to charge their own deposit and essentially mess around with bookings ...
20
votes
5answers
47k views

Carrying a handgun in other countries with a US concealed carry permit

I was wondering if you have a concealed carry license (U.S.), would that license apply in other countries? Or would you be breaking the other countries' laws? I also know some countries have very ...
19
votes
8answers
1k views

How best to prevent data loss while travelling?

For my next long holidays I have some massive travel plans. I'll spend some months in remote areas and I plan to take a lot of pictures with my digital camera. Although my SD card is kinda big, I ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

What luggage features prevent theft?

I'll be traveling to New Zealand in a few weeks and from what I've heard things like cars being broken into happen quite often, and it also seems there is a risk of having your stuff stolen in a ...
19
votes
3answers
854 views

How do I find flights that avoid US airspace?

Persons on the US no-fly list are not only unable to fly to the US (obviously), but to board a flight which might enter US airspace e.g. in an emergency. Is there any way or online resource to find ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

What personally identifiable information should I delete from my smartphone and email before travelling to a high-risk country?

I'll be travelling to Mongolia, and I've heard there's a non-trivial chance of theft. I'll be taking two Apple iPhones with me, and I'm not too concerned about the theft of the devices themselves, as ...