Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. It’s time to put away those bulky sweaters, spring-clean your humble abode, and plan your summer vacation! Whether you’re planning a week at the beach or a weekend in the mountains, identity theft protection should be at the top of your to-do list.
While there are many things you can do while on vacation to protect your identity, many forget about the important steps you can take before you leave to protect your personal information. Keep reading for 6 steps to help you stay protected from identity theft.
- Book your trip with a credit card.
Booking your hotel and plane ticket with a credit card is safer than booking your trip with a debit card or ATM card. Credit card companies are more equipped to handle fraud in case you become a victim. To protect your identity even further, use cash whenever possible during your trip.
- Alert your bank beforehand
Let your bank know you will be traveling. This will prevent your bank from freezing your card due to suspicious activity. When you contact your bank about your travel plans, also check to be sure they have your most up-to-date phone number so they can contact you if fraudulent activity does occur during your trip.
- Make your home look like you never left
Identity thieves use old-school tactics such as going through your mail to gain an abundance of your personal information. You can minimize your risk by making it look like you never left. Do this by freezing your mail so it doesn’t pile up in your mailbox or on your front porch. If you have a trusted neighbor or family member nearby, ask them to check your mail for you while away. To protect your home even further, you can put your indoor and outdoor lights on timers so it looks like someone is always home.
- Leave anything extra at home
Pre-plan what you’ll need and leave anything extra at home. Will you need your license? Will you need your social security card? Take only what you’ll absolutely need and leave the extras, including credit cards, behind. It’s usually best to leave your social security card at home and in a safe place. Make copies of any other documents you will need such as a passport or driver’s license in case one is stolen or lost.
- Don’t post your travel plans on social media
Oversharing on social media can put you at a greater risk for identity theft. Not only is your personal information more exposed by oversharing on Facebook and other social networks, but letting people know you are traveling could leave your home more vulnerable to break-ins.
- Identity Theft Protection
Whether you are visiting family across town or backpacking through Europe, it’s important to prepare and protect your personal information. The Alumni Insurance Program can help keep your identity safe while traveling with identity theft protection! These plans offer identity monitoring, 24/7 identity theft resolution service, credit reporting and suspicious activity alerts. Sign up on your Alumni Insurance Program’s website for 30-days of identity protection at no cost.