With spring, here and summer right around the corner, it’s a great time to take a break and maybe even plan a trip. But before you do, don’t forget: Bad guys never go on vacation!
Whether you’re hitting the road for spring break or headed for the sun and sand of the ultimate summer vacation, here is some advice to keep things safe for you and yours while you enjoy a little R&R.
1. Relax, sure. But stay aware!
The idea of a vacation is to take your mind off things, unwind and recharge your batteries but a vacationer’s laid-back demeanor is a magnet for thieves. While you’re soaking up the sun, they remain eager to exploit, looking to steal everything from phones and computers to data, identities, purses, wallets, and anything else that hits their radar.
2. Be careful where you take your computer.
It’s best to save your computer use for your hotel room, condominium, or apartment. Try to avoid bringing it to the beach, pool, bar or on any of your vacation excursions, where it will only be more likely for you to leave it behind or have it stolen right out from under your nose.
3. Stay protected with antivirus software.
Make sure you have antivirus software installed on your devices. VIPRE combines powerful antivirus and anti-spyware technologies with other advanced security features, including: automated patching of vulnerable software programs on your devices, a firewall to stop malicious web traffic, an anti-spam filter, a bad website blocker and more … without slowing down your machine.
4. Install a VPN before you leave.
Usually, when you’re away from home, you’ll access the Internet through hubs that aren’t very secure. That’s why it’s important to install a VPN before vacation starts. A VPN – or Virtual Private Network – enables you to communicate across a public network as if all the devices are directly and securely connected privately.
The main advantage of a VPN is that it provides secure communications based on encryption. Consider a VPN as a secure tunnel between your device(s) and all others on a LAN or the Internet. There are a number of VPN apps available, and many come with free accounts that offer a certain amount of data usage.
5. Hotel rooms are not that safe.
It’s much easier to break into a hotel room than most people realize. With that in mind, don’t take any bank account numbers or personal information with you. If you absolutely must, never leave that kind of information unattended in your hotel room.
6. Don’t let mail and newspapers pile up while you’re away.
That’s a clear tip-off to a thief that, more than likely, no one is at home. Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail and newspaper every day. You can also have your mail and newspapers put on hold easily.
7. Reduce the contents of your wallet or purse.
Take just one credit card, preferably one with an embedded chip, and leave the rest at home in a safe place. Never travel with your social security card or other personal or confidential information.
8. Beware of credit card skimming.
This is a common problem for travelers still using cards with magnetic strips. At places like hotels, restaurants, shops, and transportation desks, you should never let anyone turn away from you with your card. If you do, the person can clone it within seconds. Your best option: take a card with an embedded chip, if possible.