As you pack up for vacation, don’t forget to make a pre-vacation identity protection checklist before you head out the door.
The last of the lazy days of summer are still ahead of us, which means vacation is still on the horizon for many. Before you pack up your suitcase, be sure to do a pre-vacation identity protection check, too. Identity thieves never take a week off, which is why it is imperative you stay ahead of the game. Here’s how to keep yourself safe so you can enjoy a bit of R&R.
Your bank may offer fraud alerts. Take advantage of them!
Many financial institutions offer some sort of fraud protection and alert systems to go with these programs. It’s a good idea to alert your bank that not only will you be traveling, but be sure to sign up for text alerts for any suspicious purchases.
Public WiFi hotspots are not always a good thing.
While you may want to keep your data usage in check as you travel, be sure to take caution when using public WiFi hotspots. Hackers may be able to access public networks and see any information you send over them, including bank account numbers, logins and passwords. If you’re using public WiFi to surf the Web, be sure to have your device “forget” the network to ensure your safety.
Secure your wallet source always.
If you carry a handbag, try to keep it in front of you, so it’s not an easy mark for thieves. If you have a wallet, try to secure it as well. Usually a rubber band around your wallet will prevent it from slipping from your pockets.
Use trustworthy ATMs.
Always check machines before you swipe or insert your card. Loose housing and exposed wires usually means a skimmer has been installed. Stick to reputable banks and avoid the no-name ATMs whenever possible.
Don’t travel with important documents unless necessary.
You’ll need your ID and passport when necessary, but skip carrying your social security card and credit or debit cards that won’t get used. The less you carry, the better off you’ll be.
Shred travel documents.
Any documents containing sensitive information should be shredded after you’ve returned from your trip. Alternately, you can keep boarding passes or other tickets on your phone and immediately delete them after the trip.
Taking reasonable precautions while on vacation won’t just keep your identity safer this summer, it’ll also give you peace of mind so you can focus on enjoying your time and making memories with your family.
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