- Notify your financial institutions. Let your bank and credit card companies know if you will be using ATM, debit or credit cards while traveling. This will help them monitor for unauthorized transactions, and ensure that your access is not blocked if it really is you trying to make a purchase far from home.
- Downsize your wallet. Do not take your Social Security card on vacation. Leave your checkbook and unneeded credit cards in a safe place at home, too. Carry only the cash you think you'll need, and consider splitting cash among adult family members who are traveling together. That way, if a wallet gets lost or stolen, not everything will be lost.
- Update your computer security. If you plan to use your laptop or tablet computer away from home, make sure you have up-to-date antivirus protection and anti-spyware programs to protect you while using Internet connections that may not be secure.
- Don't access your financial accounts from public computers. Public computers are often not secure, and it can be difficult to ensure that the information you typed in (your account user name and password) has been deleted from the computer.
- Don't leave your personal information unattended. If you are staying in a hotel, put personal documents in the safe in the room or carry them with you. Also don't leave personal information in a rental car where you might forget it or it might get stolen.
Summertime! Time to put sunblock on your skin and an extra layer of protection on your personal financial information! Here are some tips to keep your identity safe when you're away from home.