It’s so important to protect yourself and your family from identity theft before, during, and after your trip. Here are some pointers for keeping your personal information safe from fraudulent activity:
- Book with credible companies. Check on a company’s legitimacy through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) at www.bbb.org before handing over your credit card number.
- Secure your home. Set lights on timers, ask neighbors to bring in trash cans/newspapers/mail, and park a car in your driveway. Lock away important financial documents, including check books, social security cards, extra credit cards, bills, and tax documents.
- Protect your personal information. Freeze your credit to block a thief from opening a new line of credit with your information. Secure your laptop (whether you bring it with you or leave it at home) by making sure it’s password protected and up to date with the necessary internet security software.
- Pack wisely. Cash is safest, however be sure to not pack all cash in one place. Only bring one credit card (preferably not a debit card). Bring an envelope to contain all your receipts, just in case you need to dispute a charge when you return home. Make two copies of your passport, driver’s license, and credit card; give one copy to someone you trust and bring the other copy with you.
- Be careful. Never leave your laptop in your hotel room unattended. If you access public computers, never log into personal accounts while on them, and always erase your history. ATMs in sketchy cities are just that…sketchy. For extra cash, research the nearest bank locations from your hotel. Do not advertise your travel plans on social media sites or you can become an easy target for theft. Share your posts and pictures with the cyber world once you’ve returned home.
When your trip is over, continue to check your credit card statements for up to three months after to make sure no fraudulent charges pop up.
Best wishes for memorable (and safe) travels on your next vacation.
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