Personal-information potholes and identity theft detours.
Whether you’re skipping town for the weekend or planning a cross-country adventure, summer is the season for road trips. While you may have your route all planned out and your car packed, don’t leave home without following these precautions.
1. At home — keep up appearances.
Before you hit the road, do what you can to make it look like you’ll still be home. If your mail’s piling up, your garage door’s always down, and nobody’s coming in and out of your house, you may tip off dumpster divers and other criminals that your trash and home are ripe for thieving.
So, in addition to taking the usual precautions before you leave (e.g., securing valuables, locking your doors), it may also make sense to ask a trusted relative, friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your place while you’re gone.
2. On the road — beware pit-stop pitfalls.
Road trips require refueling. Paying at the pump is quick and convenient, but may carry risks. If the payment slot looks funny, it’s safer to skip it and pay inside than risk your card information getting skimmed.
Another good practice is to use a credit card, rather than a debit card. If, despite your best efforts, your information ends up in the wrong hands, it’s generally much easier to recover through the fraud-fighting systems credit card companies have in place than it is to piece together a cleaned-out debit-card account.
3. At your fingertips — get credit monitoring.
While you won’t always be able to detect suspicious, possibly-fraudulent activity with credit monitoring and it isn’t the only way to do it, credit monitoring gives you a nice layer of protection to have in the background.
With TransUnion Credit Monitoring, you’ll be able to check your latest-available TransUnion credit report on your phone wherever you have an internet connection. You’ll also get:
- 1-Touch Credit Lock — block all access to your TransUnion report with a swipe
- Email alerts to critical credit report changes for all 3 bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax & Experian
- Instant Alerts — sent to your inbox, pushed to your phone or texted your way — the moment we get a request for your TransUnion report
Here’s to staying safe and enjoying the summer, on the road and off!