It is vacation time which means many will be leaving town for a little rest and relaxation. One of the nice things about going on vacation is you can slow down a little from the hectic fast pace that most deal with on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, one thing you cannot afford to do is to let your guard down when you travel. Thieves and lowlifes in our society know that people are less on guard when they travel and they look at taking advantage of that. Therefore, it is important to take some precautions when traveling in order to protect yourself. Here are some things to consider that will protect you and make it more difficult for the lowlifes to take advantage of you.
Public Wi-Fi has allowed people to access the internet virtually anywhere they are. This can be invaluable, particularly when you’re out of town and looking for information. However, the identity thieves and the lowlifes are also out there trolling public Wi-Fi to attempt to hack into information stored on our phone or laptop. Therefore, use extreme caution when you use public Wi-Fi. At a minimum, never use public Wi-Fi to transact business and that applies whether you’re on vacation or at home.
I’m amazed at the number of people who go out of town and post that information on Facebook or Twitter. It is nice to share pictures with friends and loved ones; however, let’s not forget that you’re giving a wealth of information to thieves. The last thing you want to do is let them know where you are and what your itinerary is. After all, you’re making it easier for them to take advantage of you. Therefore, my advice: wait until you come home to post your pictures and to talk about your trip. Don’t make life any easier for the crooks.
When you travel there is no need to take every charge card you own. The more you take, the greater the risk that you are going to lose something. Therefore, limit the number of charge cards you take on your vacation. In addition, it’s important to make copies of the charge cards you are taking, so that if there is a problem such as one of your cards is stolen, you have the information to immediately notify your charge card company. One other note regarding charge cards: If you are leaving the country, it may be a good idea to let your credit card company know where you are going so there will be no problems using your card when you are out of the country.
One last note, and that is when you do go out of town, make sure you stop your mail. After all, an overflowing mailbox is a clear sign to the thieves that you are out of town. It is very simple to hold your mail and you can do it online by visiting usps.com.
Going on vacation is wonderful and I recommend it for everyone. However, in today’s world, it is important to put some precautions into effect to protect yourself so you can enjoy your well-earned vacation. It would be nice if you didn’t have to worry about these things, but that is not the reality. Remember, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”!
If you would like Rick to respond to your questions, please email him at Rick@bloomassetmanagement.com.