Whether traveling frequently for business or having family members constantly on the go with busy schedules, it can be challenging for you customers and employees to keep their finances organized. Things pile up and when they do get around to tackling opening mail, filing, and organizing receipts it can become an overwhelming chore.
Ignoring finances also provides the opportunity for identity theft to creep in. So, what’s are busy professionals, employees, and your customers to do?
Here are some tips on how to keep finances organized and safeguard identities when life keeps everyone moving at the speed of light:
- Keep Quiet. Advise your employees and customers to not broadcast the news that they will be out of town for any period across social networks. Facebook and Google aren’t the only ones watching what they do online. Cyber criminals monitor social media sites and can steal email passwords. They can also hack into email or Facebook accounts to send messages to their contacts saying that they have encountered troubles while away from home and to please send money. Yikes!
- We’ll always have Paris. I once took a redeye flight to Paris and when I arrived at my hotel they ran my credit card and it was denied as it alerted the bank to “unusual activity” on my account. I was glad they were monitoring my account for fraud, but it was very inconvenient and a little bit embarrassing. Little did I know that I should have called the bank and notified them of my travel plans to avoid this situation. Fortunately, I had another card with me and they were more flexible. Now when I am planning international travel I notify my credit card companies the week before I leave, and I’d encourage you to keep this in mind if you have employees and customers who travel outside of the U.S.
- Get the 411. If away from home and your employees or customers receive a call or text from a number that claims to be their bank, don’t respond by calling the phone number back. Identity thieves use this sneaky method to steal personal information. Instead look on the back of your credit card and call the customer service number to verify that the bank is trying to reach you about suspicious activity on your account.
- There’s no place like home. If there are plans to be away from home for an extended period it’s safest to stop delivery of mail and newspapers. Overflowing mailboxes and piled up newspapers are a dead giveaway that they’re out of town. . Thieves could steal the mail and get their hands on sensitive information like credit card account numbers. Going paperless can help solve this problem. Here’s a post that also provides some tips that can help your employees and customers around spring cleaning for their finances.
- Lighten up.Of course, most of us already know better than to carry social security cards around, right? It’s also a good idea to advise your employees and customers to only carry what they need in their wallet when they are on the go. One or two credit cards and an ATM card is enough. For international travelers, it’s also advisable to keep money, credit and debit cards, and passports in a separate pouch and on your body at all times when traveling. For women, carrying valuables in a purse is not advisable because it makes it very easy for thieves to snatch, and backpacks are also easily accessible.There are some additional resources you can share with employees and customers about staying organized in a digital world, which offers tips on backing up and saving copies of credit cards and other important documents. If there’s a robbery or a wallet is lost, having the copies at home or in “the cloud” so they can quickly call and report lost or stolen credit cards can be critical to lessening the stress of recovery. For extra peace of mind, whether you’re looking to protect yourself and your family, or you’re interested in adding identity theft protection as a benefit to your employees, the team at IdentityForce is ready to help.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Ingrid Morgado.