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10 Tips to Boost Your Travel Smarts

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Traveling is fun, exciting and sometimes stressful. Break-ins, identity theft, pickpocketing, and other traveling mishaps can not only ruin a vacation, they can have a tremendous impact on your life. Learning a few travel lessons before hitting the road can help eliminate many travel misfortunes and free up your vacation for more fun!

1. Leave Home Lived In

Whether you are gone for a long weekend or a trip overseas, it’s important to leave your home looking lived in. Consider putting a light or two on a timer, ask a neighbor to bring in mail, and put a stop on daily newspaper delivery while you are away. Lock up valuables you aren’t taking with you such as jewelry, social security cards, and family heirlooms.

2. Freeze Your Credit

If you plan to be gone for an extended period, consider freezing your credit. A credit freeze blocks access to using your credit so no one can open a credit card or apply for a loan while you are away.

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Identity Theft: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself

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Sharkey Howes Javer Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft has been in the news often over the past few years. So often, in fact, it is easy to think of it as a problem that only happens to other people. The unfortunate reality is identity theft continues to hurt thousands of Americans every year, ruining credit scores, jeopardizing careers and creating nightmares for victims trying to put their lives back on track.(source) Identity thieves try to steal information in many ways. Hacking, phishing or stealing smartphones, laptops and mail are all ways a thief can access your personal data.

Guard Your Personal Information

The first step to protecting yourself from becoming the next victim is guarding that personal information. Identity thieves can get virtually anyone’s address, birthdate and name easily. The thing that can harm you the most if it falls into the wrong hands is your Social Security number. Keep your Social Security card somewhere secure like a safe; do not carry it with you in your wallet or purse. Be extremely wary of any website that asks for your Social Security number. (source)

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