This post about identity theft has been sponsored by LifeLock. I am a LifeLock ambassador but all opinions expressed here are my own.
For the last 2 weeks I have spent a great deal of time planning my family’s upcoming vacation. 5 states, two weeks, and a whole lot of miles in the car with 2 teenagers. I think we may be just a tad bit insane. If not, I can guarantee we will be by the time we get back from this road trip! Since I leave nothing to chance, I made our hotel reservations over the phone for the places I know we want to stop at along the way. I have an itinerary planned out already for sights we want to see, restaurants we want to eat at and we are ready to go. The one thing I will NOT be leaving behind is my wallet….unfortunately this trip will not be cheap and I will be flashing my credit card around a lot over the next 2 weeks. Since I have been a victim of identity theft in the past, it is an issue that concerns me greatly so I thought I would share some tips on how to prevent identity theft on your vacation!
Identity Theft on Vacation is a Huge Risk!
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1. Notify your credit card company of your travel plans. I have had my credit card turned off mid travel because they THOUGHT the card was stolen. Tell them where exactly you are going. That way, if your card number is used in Australia and you are in South America they know it is NOT you using it.
2. Make sure someone is getting your mail at home. Nothing says ‘I’m on vacation’ like an overflowing mailbox. That alerts not only thieves that may break into your home but people who rifle through mail looking for personal information.
3. Clean out your wallet. You do not need to bring every retail credit card you own. Bring 2 (one as a backup just in case!) and consider leaving your debit card at home. Credit card companies are much easier to deal with if you are the victim of identity theft than banks. A clean wallet also means you won’t be digging through hundreds of receipts just to find your credit card.
4. Check your accounts for suspicious activity. A two week vacation is a long time. If a criminal gets your info on day one they can do a lot of damage by the time you get home 13 days later!
5. Beware of hotel employees in your room. I am suspicious by nature and while I’m sure those hotel maids would not steal my private info I don’t take any chances. I usually prefer to just put up the ‘do not disturb’ sign and make my own bed. If you do have to leave valuables behind put them in the hotel room safe if there is one. Most nice hotels nowadays have this amenity!
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6. If you bring your laptop, make sure it is password protected. I always bring my computer, even if I don’t plan on doing too much work. It is a ‘just in case of emergencies’ kindof thing. If you leave your computer in the hotel room, make sure you tuck it away where it can’t be seen. Also make sure that your computer is password protected. If anyone decides to start looking they won’t be able to get in and you will be protected from possible identity theft.
7. Sign up for an identity protection service before you leave. Make sure that the service you choose monitors your personal information every single day and has a system in place to alert you on the go. It doesn’t help to just monitor your credit and get an email once a month. You need something a little more vigilant in place to protect you from identity theft during your vacation.
LifeLock offers proactive identity theft protection, scanning trillions of data points every single day. It is more than just transaction monitoring. LifeLock watches out for things that banks and credit card monitoring services just don’t look at. Their technology helps you stay one step ahead of the criminals! You get near real time alerts by phone, text or email when your personal information is being used. Their actionable alerts allow you to respond RIGHT THEN with a yes or no. If the activity is fraudulent, you put a stop to identity theft immediately. If you are going to be traveling, LifeLock is definitely a service I recommend you look into! If you would like more information about protecting your identity while you are on vacation, check out the LifeLock Site.
LifeLock Book Giveaway
LifeLock would like to offer one of my readers a copy of their book “Stolen Identity: What Anyone with a Name, Birthdate and Social Security Number Needs to Know Now ” Here is a little bit about the book:
Book Description: Identity theft is one of the most widespread and fast-evolving crimes, but many people don’t realize that it goes far beyond having a credit card number stolen. It can jeopardize your healthcare, block you from receiving the tax refund you’re due, interfere with a job or loan, and even run up debt for your children or elderly parents. Learn more about the alarming ways identity in which thieves operate today and what you can do to reduce your chances of having your identity stolen.
This is a Giveaway Tools contest so please follow the directions below to enter to win! (Please Note: If you would like to order the book without entering the contest you can purchase it on Amazon.
By entering this giveaway, you release this blog and it’s owner from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the giveaway or delivery, mis-delivery or acceptance of any prize.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.