July is the most active month for vacation time. If you have not already taken the annual ‘’family trip’’ it will certainly be coming up soon.
I’d like to offer a few tips to help limit potential disasters during your sojourn.
While you enjoy your break from the grind of work, remember that vacation time is prime time for Identity Thieves. And, trust me on this, while the best of us want to look and act like a ‘’local,’’ we’re not. Try as we may, we still so often look like a ‘’tourist.’’
So, take a few extra steps to ensure you continue to be the only one out there ‘’posing as you.’’
Clean out your Wallet or Purse – Remove any identifiable information other than current and essential documents. This means old prescriptions, receipts, or any information that could lead a thief to your identity. Purge before you go.
Beware of Public Computers – Limit the use of hotel computers, even to print boarding passes. Never autosave any information on public computers. Sounds simple, but, it happens.
Only use Secure Wireless Networks – Free Wi-Fi is convenient, but also makes your information and devices vulnerable.
Lock your Smartphone – So many of us use our phones as storage bases for personal data and passwords. Makes life easy…until the person looking over your shoulder snatches your phone.
Use Cash Whenever Possible/Limit ATMs – This is so passé! But, losing $ 100 – $ 250 cash will make you much less grumpy on the trip than losing your identity from a credit card transaction. Use the cards where you are sure the transaction is secure. For those ‘’out of the way/hole in the wall’’ shops and restaurants, stick with cash.
Consider Purchasing Identity Theft Coverage – The industry offers a number of solid plans designed to help protect you from the nightmare of Identity Theft.
Upon your return, check your credit card statements carefully.
Be Safe, Be Smart, return with good memories and your identity intact.