Summer is right around the corner and you’re probably already looking forward to your family’s summer vacation. I know I am!
While you can take a vacation from work and home, you can’t really take a vacation from identity theft. In fact, your risk of identity theft actually goes up when you are on vacation. Think about it. You are spending more and thus using your credit card more. You might even be using multiple cards. Hotels, rental cars, shopping, restaurants, everywhere you go you are probably using your cards.
So when it’s time to pack your bags, don’t forget these tips for protecting your identity when you are on vacation. Here’s how to stay safe:
- Pack light. Easier said than done, I know, but you’ll thank yourself later. And that’s not just about your luggage. If you can, bring the fewest possible credit cards on the trip. Don’t bring along any written PINS or passwords.
- Back it all up. You might not realize it, but your wallet and smartphone are easily “hackable” directories of your most sensitive personal information. Credit cards, your license, your medical insurance card, your debit card, passwords to accounts, and more may all have a home in your wallet and smartphone. If you lost one or both of these when traveling would you know what to do? And even if your wallet or device was returned, chances are someone took a long look at your information.
To be safe, make digital copies (scan and save) of everything you will be carrying in your wallet: passport, credit card, driver’s license, etc. Also, be sure to backup your smartphone on your computer right before you leave. Consider signing up for IdentityForce’s Lost Wallet Assistance, which makes it easy to save all of your credit, debit, and ATM card information so you can quickly cancel and/or replace your accounts if your wallet is lost or stolen.
- Surf with caution. Whether or not your destination is Oahu, you are sure to be surfing on your vacation. Online, that is. Be aware of your surroundings at all times when you are using your mobile phone or tablet. Don’t let anyone look over your shoulder. Log out of any website or app that you use and above all be very careful about using public Wi-Fi––it may not be secure.
- Lock it up. Password-protect your smartphone and your tablet and when you are going to leave the hotel room and can’t take them along, be sure to lock them up in the hotel room’s safe.
- Act fast. If your wallet, smartphone, or tablet is stolen on your vacation, call the police immediately and file a report. Make sure you get a copy in case you have to contest fraudulent charges later.
- Watch your statements. Before you leave on your vacation, set a regular time on your calendar to check your credit card statements for a few months following your return. Look for purchases, transactions, or services you didn’t authorize or receive. If you suspect fraud, call the number on your statement immediately.
Have fun on your vacation, but stay safe and secure by following these tips and signing up for IdentityForce’s UltraSecure+Credit today. Make your vacation a dream vacation with the peace of mind you get from IdentityForce.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Nick Harris.