Tips: Protect Your Identity on Summer Vacation

ProtectMyID offers tips to protect your identity while on summer vacation.

Wi-Fi hotspots are a hotbed for identity thieves. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents use public Wi-Fi in some capacity while traveling.

  • When available, use a hard-wired connection or a personal Wi-Fi hotspot rather than public Wi-Fi. A DSL connection is typically more secure than any free Wi-Fi network you may find in a hotel business center or lobby.
  • A weak password, while using free Wi-Fi can make your computer more susceptible to invasion. Strengthen your password by making it longer and including an array of symbols, letters and numbers.
  • If you plan on using Wi-Fi provided by your hotel, ask what security measures are taken to protect guests' information.

Beware of broadcasting travel plans. Almost 50 percent of survey respondents between the ages of 18 to 34 post to their social media pages with updates on their travel whereabouts.

  • While managing privacy settings is a great way to control who views your page, you can never be certain who is reading about your whereabouts.
  • Postpone posting pictures of your adventures until you return home. Posting photos in real time are an indicator that your home is vacant, welcoming intruders.

Lighten your load before hitting the road.

  • Cash or credit cards are the best forms of payment while traveling. Go through your wallet, purse and/or briefcase and remove any unnecessary personal items such as Social Security card, bills, extra credit cards, library card and check book.
  • Protect these items from home intruders by locking them in a personal safe or a safety deposit box.

Book travel on secure sites. Fifty-two percent of survey respondents aged 18 to 34 usually book travel via online third party sites.

  • While third-party sites may offer better prices, some deals are too good to be true. If it is a boutique travel site, be sure to do your research. Check for any feedback on the site, such as in online forums, blogs or groups.
  • When you click on the page to pay, ensure that it's a secure site. The URL should begin with "https."

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