Warmer weather is on its way and that means a lot of different things to many people. It may mean plans for outdoor gatherings, family cookouts, and yes, a vacation! Vacations take time to plan…where you will be staying, budgeting money, and planning the excursions, but what about the threat of identity theft? Nobody likes to consider the threat of this, but you need to know some basic tips to safeguard your identity not just at home, but while traveling too.
Vacations are typically fun and exciting but can quickly turn into a nightmare if you become a victim of identity theft. In fact, 7 million people in the U.S. were victimized last year. Also, many travelers admit to letting their guards down regarding online security while they are traveling and/or vacating.
Imagine this happening to you. You and your family have been planning for this vacation for a year and finally made it to your destination. Two days in, you get an alert from your bank that suspicious activity has occurred. Now, you are faced with trying to resolve this issue when you are supposed to be relaxing and having fun.
Tips to Safeguard Your Identity at Home and on Vacation
There are ways you can minimize the risks of identity theft because after all, vacations are meant to be enjoyed.
Contact Your Bank- Before leaving for your vacation, it is recommended you contact your financial institution to alert them about travel plans. If yesterday you were making charges in your hometown and today you have charges in another country, there will be red flags.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi- Make sure before you log in to your bank or financial institution that you are using a secure Wi-Fi network. If you are using a public Wi-Fi network, you could be jeopardizing your identity.
Keep Your Documents Safe- When traveling always make sure your passport and credit cards are secured in a safe location. The last thing you want to be doing while out of town is dealing with stolen documents or compromised credit cards.
Set up Alerts and Notifications- It is recommended you contact your bank to set up alerts of any suspicious activity occurring on your accounts. You can also log into your financial account at some point during your vacation but do so ONLY on a secured Wi-Fi network and make sure you log out when you are done.
Monitor Your Home- When you are traveling, ask a neighbor or friend to collect the newspaper(s) and mail from your home. Burglars monitor homes that have newspapers and mail piled up waiting to make their entry into your home.
May Your Vacation be a Dream Come True
If you have any questions or concerns about securing and protecting your identity now and on vacation, call us at Burkett & Associates Insurance and we will assist you in every way. Taking some preemptive measures ahead of time can ensure you have done everything you can do to safeguard your identity and avoid the risk of a nightmare vacation. Safe travels this summer and may your vacation be a dream come true.