As summer approaches, plans are probably being made to gather outdoors with friends and family or perhaps take that long-awaited vacation. Your vacation is meant for adventures and/or rest and relaxation, but what happens when your vacation turns into a nightmare after falling victim to identity theft? Unfortunately, it can and does happen all the time. In fact, 7 million people were victims of identity theft last year. Before you take your next vacation, you need to know ways to protect your identity so that while on vacation, you can embark on your next adventure without worry!
Vacations take a lot of planning beforehand, so it’s recommended you take precautionary measures to secure your online transactions and identity as part of your planning process. Being on vacation doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Fraudsters are everywhere (yes, even on vacation) waiting for that crack in security so they can attempt to steal your identity.
Ways You Can Enjoy Your Vacation and Still Protect Your Identity
Set up Alerts and Notifications- Before your vacation, contact your financial institution and set up alerts and notifications (via text or email) regarding any suspicious transactions/activity. This way if any fraudulent activity is happening, you will be notified right away so you can immediately address the issue.
Notify Your Bank- Any time you are planning to travel, it is suggested you contact your bank to let them know your destination. That way when transactions show up in another state or country, they are aware of your travel plans and expect to see activity in that location. Otherwise, your financial institution will be alerting you of unusual activity and then you will have to take time out of your vacation to let them know you are on vacation.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi- Never use public Wi-Fi if you can help it. Before doing any type of inquiry online, make sure you are using a secure network; otherwise, you could be jeopardizing your identity. If you do happen to check your bank accounts from a secure Wi-Fi network, make sure you log out when finished.
Ask Neighbors to Monitor Your Home- Leaving your home to go out of town takes preparation. Ask a neighbor or friend to collect any newspapers and mail while you are away. Robbers are looking for ways to break into homes when people aren’t there so keep some lights on to make it look like someone is there.
Secure Your Documents- Imagine being on vacation and someone stealing your passport, credit cards, and driver’s license. Always make sure you keep your documents locked in a safe in the room, locked in your suitcase, or some other safe location.
Minimize the Risks and Enjoy Your Vacation
Vacations are meant to be enjoyed so take the time to minimize the risks of identity theft NOW so you can enjoy your vacation when it comes. If you have any questions or concerns regarding identity theft, contact our offices today at Cameron Insurance Group and we will be glad to assist you. Safe travels this summer!