Don’t let identity theft ruin your vacation. Here are 4 ways identity theft can happen to you — and how to stay protected.

Sunburn, food poisoning, lost luggage…there are plenty of things that can ruin a vacation. Thankfully, there are also plenty of ways we can prevent them from happening to ensure our hard-earned time away is memorable for the right reasons.

This summer, as you pack up your sunscreen and put a tracker in your luggage, consider how you can protect yourself against another travel risk: identity theft. 

Our digitized lives have made accessing sensitive personal information and using it to impersonate or steal personal assets easier than ever before — especially when we’re in vulnerable situations on vacation. While no one can prevent all identity theft, here are the top four ways it can happen and how LifeLock by Norton(opens in a new tab) and a little tech-savvy sense can help keep you safe.

1. You used public WiFi and now your device is compromised 

Free WiFi while abroad feels like a win when you find yourself looking to kill time in between activities and want to hunt for the best bar or coffee spot nearby. But, without protection, it could also be a hacker’s win.

Public WiFi networks have either limited or no security, leaving your devices at risk of malware, WiFi snooping, malicious hotspots, and man-in-the-middle attacks. With LifeLock by Norton’s virtual private network (VPN), you can tap into a public WiFi network through a private network or VPN tunnel. This adds an extra layer of security to your device to help prevent attacks. 

Even with a VPN, it’s best to follow general security rules(opens in a new tab) like sticking to HTTPS websites and avoiding sensitive sites like your online banking while using public WiFi. 

2. You can’t find your wallet 

The best cure for stolen ID is to avoid it at all costs, so be mindful of your surroundings, only carry what you really need for the trip, and avoid putting all of your identification documents in one place. 

If your wallet is pinched by a pickpocketer or lost on public transport, you’ll need to immediately cancel or replace your driver’s license, credit cards, insurance cards, and other documents. This is where LifeLock by Norton’s Stolen Wallet Protection service comes in. They’ll handle the necessary calls to get your identification documents and bank cards canceled while you continue to enjoy the rest of your vacation. 

Additionally, LifeLock by Norton’s Credit Monitoring Service will have your back in the event your identity is used at the bank. The service monitors credit reports for you and alerts you when we find that a lender, bank, or credit card provider checks your credit. If you receive an alert that you’ve applied for a card that’s not familiar, you’ll know there’s a bad actor at play and can take steps to rectify the situation. 

3. Your mail was stolen while you were away

Let’s say you’re gone for two weeks. In that time, you may have received a letter from your bank, an electricity bill, a birthday card, and more. Identity thieves can steal your mail and use this information to get access to your existing bank accounts, open new accounts, or obtain documents in your name. 

To avoid this, ask USPS to pause mail delivery, get a PO box, or have a friend or neighbor collect your mail. If something slips through the cracks and your documents are stolen, LifeLock by Norton and its Credit Monitoring and Identity and Social Security Number Alerts will help ensure you catch the activity. If the worst happens, you can lean on Stolen Funds Reimbursement of up to $25,000 for the LifeLock Standard plan.*

4. And yet, you still fall prey to a travel scam

Scammers are more sophisticated than ever before. From the moment you book your accommodation online to the moment your vacation ends, even savvy travelers risk falling victim to a travel scam.

When booking hotels and rooms online, take your time reading reviews for both the property itself and the site you’re considering to book through to check legitimacy. If an unknown number calls and says they represent the hotel and ask for personal information, ask to hang up and call back using a publicly registered phone number before providing your information. The same caution also applies to emails and texts — avoid responding to phishy-looking emails and smishy texts. 

Leaning on identity theft protection plans like LifeLock by Norton(opens in a new tab) can further fortify your defenses against potential threats to help keep yourself and your vacation memories safer. By adopting various security measures, such as securing your digital devices and being mindful of your surroundings, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to travel scams. 

*Reimbursement and Expense Compensation, each with limits of up to $25,000 for Standard, up to $100,000 for Advantage and up to $1 million for Ultimate Plus. And up to $1 million for coverage for lawyers and experts if needed, for all plans. Benefits provided by Master Policy issued by United Specialty Insurance Company, Inc. (State National Insurance Company, Inc. for NY State members). Policy terms, conditions and exclusions at: in a new tab)

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *