We all look forward to vacations … time off of work, fun with the family, a few days of laziness… but, when we are excited about buying sunscreen and new flip-flops, we need to remember that there are some other ‘things to do’ on our checklist to help keep our family and identities safe.
In addition to finding pet care, remembering your passport and making sure your lighting is on schedule, there are some pre-, during and post-trip items that you can do to help prevent identity theft from becoming a huge vacation memory.
Just some small preventative measures like updating the operating system and antivirus software on your mobile devices can go a long way toward fending off a few identity thieves.
Before you leave home:
- Password protect your devices and update operating systems
- Alert your bank(s) about your travel plans
- Visit your post office and put your mail on a vacation hold
- Keep the number of credit cards you travel with to a minimum and have copies of your driver’s license, medical id cards, passports and travel confirmation numbers at home in a safe place
- Turn off auto-connect Wifi and Bluetooth connections
- Consider adjusting your social media account settings so posts aren’t tagged with GPS data
While out of town:
- Avoid using public Wifi and even your hotel’s if at all possible
- Do not use public computers
- Keep your travel documents in a hotel safe
- Log out of websites on your smart phone and any websites if you bring a laptop or other device with you on your trip
Upon your return home:
- Consider changing passwords for your major accounts
- Thoroughly go through your account statements for any irregularities
- Check your credit report to make sure no new accounts were opened in your name while you were away
- We hope you have a wonderful vacation. Stay safe!