Protect Your Data During Holiday Travel

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identity theft
Protect yourself from being a victim
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The holiday season is fast approaching for travelers, one can expect long lines at TSA  and flight delays with the sheer volume of flights scheduled. According to industry trade group Airlines for America, an estimated 27.3 million passengers will be in the friendly skies from November 18th through 29th, which is a 55,000 increase over last year. With more travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday, you’re at a higher risk of potential identity theft. Here are 3 ways you can protect your data to prevent being a victim during the busiest time of the year.

 

Protect Your Data

Here are 3 reasons that you need to protect your data while traveling.  RFID is becoming more common in passports, credit cards, and phones and thieves have access to tools to steal your information just by bumping into you.  Many people use open wifi at airports, hotels, and Starbucks to save on their data/roaming charges.  And don’t forget that when you’re using your phone, laptop, or tablet, people can easily look over your shoulder and memorize or write down your sensitive data.

 

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

Why should you get RFID protection? Thieves are finding it so easy to virtually pickpocket unsuspecting passengers. The culprit can accidentally bump into you without you knowing they just swept all your credit card information.  A RFID protective wallet or purse adds a layer of security by blocking any type of radio frequency transmitting to retrieve data encrypted on your credit cards or identification, such as a Driver’s License or passport.

I personally own a Tumi RFID passport holder, and I take it whenever I travel internationally. I love it for the low profile and stylish look. It allows me to hold my passport and 4 credit cards if needed. It also has a small pocket on the outside where I store cash or coins at times.

Protect your data from RFID thieves
Photo Courtesy of Tumi.com

There are other brands that provide various of RFID protective bags, wallets, and purses, click here to see a list of various styles. You can even try Amazon Prime with a 30-Day Free Trial so that you don’t pay shipping on your order.

 

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Who doesn’t love free complimentary Wi-Fi at the airport? It’s probably the most common overlooked threat while traveling. A free 30-minute session before your flight starts to board may sound great, however, you are at great risk of your personal information being compromised.

Hackers can easily get into your phone or laptop by accessing your data being transmitted through the free public domain. A VPN adds a layer of security by securing your connection to a private secure network. There are several VPN services available, but one my favorite is ExpressVPN. For smartphones, Google Fi phones have an automatic built-in VPN service when connected and its easy to setup.

Protect your data while accessing public wifi
Protect your accounts

Pro Tip: It’s a good rule of thumb to cover your laptop’s camera with tape to prevent any hackers from accessing it if they are successful in hacking into your computer.

 

Screen Privacy Filter

VPN works great on digital hacking, but it doesn’t protect you from the person sitting next to you from sneaking a peek at your laptop screen. To reduce the risk of someone writing or memorizing your personal information over your shoulders, purchase a privacy filter to deter wandering eyes.

This very inexpensive investment make sure your personal information is secure and out of the hands of a thief.  You can buy a privacy filter to fit your screen.  But, since everyone has different size laptop screens that may not fit the standard sizes available, buy the next size up and trim it to make sure it fits properly.

Click here to use our Amazon referral link and see what privacy filter options are available.

Protect your data with a privacy filter
Protect your screen with a privacy filter

Get your screen filters delivered within 2 days from Amazon Prime with a 30-Day Free Trial.

The Bald Thoughts

You are the first line of defense when you’re traveling. Being on your phone and laptop may help kill time while waiting for your flight, but the longer you’re online, the greater the chances are of someone hacking into your personal data. Always be mindful of your surroundings and chances are if something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Although these steps aren’t bulletproof ways stop your data from being compromised, it’s a good way to deter criminals since they often look for easy targets to attack first.

If you do carry any credit cards with you, make sure they have fraud protection on them. It might save you in the future from unwanted charges!

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