Keeping Your Holidays Happy and Fraud-free
Yes, it’s that wonderful time of year. The holidays are quickly approaching … and at lightning speed! Will you be traveling to see family in the next few weeks? Or, maybe you’ll be skipping off to a great vacation instead of decking the halls? Whatever your plans are, having time off of work, fun with friends and family, and hopefully a few days of laziness … are wonderful to look forward to. But, when we are caught up in the excitement about buying those last-minute gifts (or 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 during this special time of year.
In addition to stopping the mail, finding that special neighbor with a green thumb to water your plants, and arranging for pet care for your fur babies, there are some ‘before your trip’ actions you can take to help prevent identity theft from becoming a huge holiday memory. Just some small preventative measures, such as updating the operating system and antivirus software on your mobile devices, can go a long way toward fending off a few identity thieves. Below are some tips for what you can do before you leave home, as well as while you’re away and after your return.
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 Wifi if at all possible
– Do not use public computers
– Keep your travel documents in the hotel room 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 holiday vacation. If you suspect identity theft or fraud, please contact us immediately at 888.966.GUARD (4827) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Day or night, we’ve got your back and will always be open for you.