Summer is here and with it comes opportunities for travel.
Now, before you embark on your getaway, it is important to understand how it could affect the Digital You. Traveling should be an escape from the daily stresses of life but if you aren’t careful, it can also lead to problems you wouldn’t normally think about while on the road.
Unfortunately, Identity theft doesn’t take a holiday. It can strike at any time and if you aren’t careful, it can even happen when you are on the move. While advancements in mobile technology give you the freedom to connect to the world around you, they can also leave you vulnerable to malicious entities who are looking to use the information in your devices for their own gain.
Being cautious with how you use your devices can mean the difference between your perfect holiday and disaster for your personal information.
How To Keep Your Information Safe While Traveling
Don’t Use Public Wifi Without Knowing The Source
When on a trip, you may find yourself tempted to use public Wifi in locations such as airports or hotels. While these hot spots are convenient, they often host all types of unseen threats within them.
When it comes to these hot spots, it isn’t the Wifi itself that presents the problem, but rather the way identity thieves can use it to their advantage. Identity thieves can and will use public Wifi as a way to pull private information from anyone using it.
The safest option is to not use public Wifi to any degree but instead, use your mobile data to connect online. Of course, this isn’t an option for everyone. Depending on your mobile plan, you may find that you need to connect to these public hot spots. If this is the case, we suggest you do this as safely as possible.
Here are some tips on how to connect safely to public Wifi:
- Don’t perform any financial actions while on public Wifi. If an identity thief does gain access to your information, it is better to protect these volatile details.
- Try and only use public Wifi with password protection. Any establishment that provides you with a password to use their Wifi is more secure than one that can be accessed freely.
- If you are a frequent traveller, you may want to set up your own virtual private network (VPN)- It is more secure than using public networks.
Protect Your Electronics
When it comes to preventing identity theft, you don’t want to give criminals any more of an advantage than they already have. If you lose, misplace or have your device(s) stolen, not having any form of password protection will give criminals easy access to some of your most personal data.
Try and get into a routine of locking your devices when you aren’t using them. Most times this means using a 4 digit pin to enter your device but even that sometimes isn’t enough. Consider using a longer pin that isn’t as easy to crack.
Be Ready To Delete Your Data
If a criminal gains access to your personal device, then they may have access to all the information they need to commit fraud. Fortunately, iPhones and Android phones will allow you to delete your data remotely.
Both companies have a tutorial on how you can remotely erase your data if the need arises.
Unfortunately, if you own a Windows device such as a laptop, deleting your data isn’t as simple as the instructions above. For these devices, you may want to consider using a third party service which can perform the wipe for you. If it is a work-issued computer, let your IT department or the proper authority know as soon as possible and they may be able to wipe the information remotely.
Save Your Information In Case Of Deletion
It is always important to be prepared. In the event you need to perform a remote data wipe of your device, you may find comfort knowing that all of your information is saved elsewhere.
These days, it makes sense to use a cloud storage service such as iCloud for Mac users or Google drive for Android users. If you aren’t comfortable with those options, you could also back up your data to a personal external drive. While it isn’t as full proof as using the cloud, the chances that you will lose all your devices and external drives at once is unlikely.
Avoid Keeping Identifiable Information On Apps
Criminals will use whatever they can find about you. This includes the information you leave accessible in your apps. A prime example is marking your “Home” address in your navigation apps. By doing this, you give criminals an open map to where you live, which could lead problems directly to your doorstep.
Consider changing your “Home” in your navigation apps to a local landmark. Try picking something that will get you close enough to your residence without giving away your actual address.
This also goes for other apps that are not password protected. Keep any information that can personally identify you as obscure as possible while keeping your apps helpful to you. It is a fine line to walk but can ultimately prevent criminals from gathering pivotal information.
Use a Pocket Shield
There is a new form of fraud on the rise called Contactless Fraud. It is a form of electronic pickpocketing that takes advantage of the technology found in new contactless payment cards.
Criminals use a technological device similar to the one found in normal credit card terminals you see at the store. They will place the device in range of your card and scan any information from it needed to take money from your account.
ScoresMatter is proud to introduce Pocket Shield. Pocket Shield is an RFID blocking card that will protect the information in your RFID enabled devices.
You can simply place Pocket Shield near your RFID enabled cards and rest assured that your information is secure. It can even protect other RFID enabled documents such as passports and ID cards.
Protect Yourself, Even If Your Information is Stolen
Many times, when criminals steal your information while traveling or otherwise, it can end up for sale on the Dark Web. In the Dark Web, your information can be sold and traded until someone has enough information to commit fraud in your name.
There is no way to ensure that you will never be a victim of identity theft, but you can help minimize its effects by monitoring your information. ScoresMatter can scan the Dark Web for your information to see if it is for sale on criminal marketplaces. Our Dark Web tool also provides you with information on what to do if you are compromised and tips and blogs on how to keep your information off of the Dark Web.
Tap Into The Digital You with ScoresMatter and start protecting your information today.