When you are about to go away, it’s easy to want to shout it from the rooftops and share your excitement. However, to ensure the safety of your home and possessions, there are a few things to think about before you leave:
- Be smart about announcing your travel plans on social media – or to be clear, don’t. It may alert unscrupulous people, or unsuspecting friends may share your news to others.
- Remember to a hold or redirect your mail and newspapers. An overflowing mailbox is an indication a home is unattended.
- Set up a travel alert on your credit card accounts, and talk to your bank. Let them know the dates you are away so they can quickly alert you to any fraud. Sometimes card details are used repeatedly, if vendors steal or copy your information.
- Leave your laptop at home if you can. If you must travel with a laptop, ensure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up to dates. Do not access bank accounts from your laptop while in a hotel room or at a coffee shop or other public location.
Once you are away:
- Carry only necessities in your wallet when travelling. Go through your wallet and leave your other cards at home.
- While staying at a hotel, lock important documents such as your passport in a safe.
- Use only ATMs located in banks.
- Protect your personal smartphone. Create a password for access, and use an application with a GPS locator to find your phone if it is lost or stolen.
- Don’t put your full name and address on luggage tags. Include just your last name and phone number.
- Tear up and discard used boarding passes. Many travellers leave boarding passes behind in airplanes or hotels. They often contain full names and other personal information.
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