Pack your bags and grab your sunscreen because summer is here, which means it’s time for a vacation! It’s the time of the year to kick back, relax, and leave your stress behind. While vacationing, however, most people don’t think they could ever become the target of identity theft.
Sadly, vacationing season is an identity thief’s playground because this is the time when people let their guard down and pay less attention to their surroundings. Each year, numbers are rising for reported cases of identity theft and your credit and debit accounts, personal information, driver’s license, and other important information could be at stake.
Taking precautions to prevent this from happening is important, because after all, coming back from a vacation to find out you’ve been a victim isn’t fun.
Check out these 7 tips to help you avoid identity theft while you’re on vacation!
Notify Your Bank – Before you go on vacation, let your bank know you’re going to be out of town. Tell them where you are going and for how long so they will be aware of any strange transactions that may occur. When you notify your bank, they will usually monitor your accounts closely.
Don’t Announce Your Plans – We know vacations are too good not to share, but announcing that you will be away for a long period of time on social media opens the doors for identity thieves to come into your home and go through your personal files and information. Save the sharing for after you come back!
Put a Hold on Your Mail – Nothing says, I’m not here!” more than an overflowing mailbox. So put a hold on your mail until you return. This goes for your daily newspaper delivery as well.
Leave Your Laptop at Home – If you can, it’s best to leave your laptop at home. But if you must bring it with you, make sure your anti-virus software is updated. Also, do not access your personal banking information online while staying in your hotel or other public areas.
Protect Your Smartphone – If you’re not using your bluetooth, turn it off. Identity thieves can easily hack into your phone and collect important information if your bluetooth is on. Additionally, turn off your location settings. Leaving them on could notify thieves of where you are.
Use a Bank-Owned ATM – While on vacation, you may need cash in a pinch, but don’t let that drive you to use a random ATM. Try your best to find a bank-owned ATM as they are more credible and will keep your accounts protected.
Use Your Hotel Safe – Most hotel rooms now have pin-protected safes. Use them to keep all of your valuables safe and never leave any receipts, passports, boarding passes, or other important documents out in the open.
We hope this list will be helpful during your travels. If you need assistance with your insurance needs as well, we’ve got you covered! Stop by to see your agent at Madison Mutual or call us at 1-800-766-MMIC to make sure your insurance is up-to-date!