Summer is almost upon us and families are already planning or preparing their summer vacation. But just like you, identity thieves are also looking forward to this busy travel period.
It’s no secret, that identity thieves are constantly planning new ways to steal your personal information. Consumers often let their guards down on vacation, putting them at greater risk of identity theft.
Equifax is a global leader in consumer and commercial information solutions and wants to help everybody from being the unfortunate victim of identify theft.
Equifax would like to share the top 10 ways consumers can help protect themselves while traveling any time of the year:
1. Don’t announce your travel plans on social media. This invites identity thieves to target your house while you’re away.
2. Place a hold on your mail. When criminals see an overflowing mailbox, they see an easy way to steal personal information.
3. Go through your wallet and leave at home your library card and other cards with your name on them. Carry only necessities in your wallet when traveling. Tourist areas are hotspots for pickpockets.
4. Set up a travel alert on your credit card accounts, and freeze your credit with the three credit bureaus.
5. Leave your laptop computer at home if you can. If you must travel with a laptop, update your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Do not access bank accounts from your laptop while in a hotel room or at a coffee shop or other public location.
6. While staying at a hotel, lock important documents such as your passport in a safe.
7. Use only ATMs located in banks.
8. Protect your smartphone. Create a password for access, and use an application with a GPS locator to find your phone if it is lost or stolen.
9. Don’t put your full name and address on luggage tags. Include just your last name and phone number.
10. Tear up and discard used boarding passes. Many travelers leave boarding passes behind in airplanes or hotels. They often contain full names and other personal information.
In an effort to curb the growing problem of identity theft, be alert at all times and try to stay one step ahead of the crooks.
Trey Loughran is the president of the Personal Solutions unit at Equifax and was quoted, “By developing good identity protection habits at home and on the road, you can reduce your risk of becoming a victim.”
Remember the wise saying …… an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So be prepared and start dreaming about and planning your special vacation getaway!
If you need help making your summer travel plans, please contact The Life of Luxury using the below form: