Social Behaviors, Including Using Social Media, Posting Photos and Geo-Tagging, May Increase Chances of Becoming a Victim
TEMPE, Ariz.–In preparation of upcoming summer travel, LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE: LOCK), an industry leader in identity theft protection, partnered with Javelin Strategy & Research to study travel behaviors and their impact on identity fraud. The November 2014 survey found that international travel increases the risk of identity fraud. According to the results, international travelers were 1.5 times more likely to become victims than those who did not leave the U.S. internationally.
“While it is always important to actively protect your identity, when you are planning a trip, it is a time to be extra vigilant and practice safer habits to help protect your information”
Though certain locations have higher risks than others, regardless of the destination, LifeLock recommends that travelers plan ahead and pack light to help protect against losing valuables.
Top five risky destinations for international travel:
1. Eastern Europe (2.4 times more likely to experience identity theft)
1. South Asia (2.4 times more likely to experience identity theft)
2. Western Europe (1.7 times more likely to experience identity theft)
3. Canada (1.5 times more likely to experience identity theft)
3. Latin America (1.5 times more likely to experience identity theft)
“While it is always important to actively protect your identity, when you are planning a trip, it is a time to be extra vigilant and practice safer habits to help protect your information,” said Hilary Schneider, president of LifeLock. “Criminals are ready to take advantage of the increased opportunities traveling offers in their attempts to compromise your identity. It is up to all of us to take precautions to make it harder for them.”
The survey identified risky behaviors that increased the chances of travelers becoming victims, finding that certain social media behaviors aligned with travelers’ increased risk: those who are posting pictures and checking in with GPS are the most at risk, increasing their chances 46 percent and 27 percent respectively.
Minimizing Travel Risks
In our always connected world, some things are simply unavoidable but there are some precautionary measures that can help minimize your risk and help you get back on track quickly if you happen to be a victim. LifeLock recommends the following tips:
BEFORE YOU GO
- Safely store documents like your Social Security cards, birth certificates, and/or marriage licenses in a safe or safety deposit box.
- Travel Light! Clean out your wallet: carry only two credit cards and a debit/ATM card. Make a list of the card companies’ phone numbers in case your wallet is stolen. Do not keep this in your wallet. Consider storing photos of your important cards in the LifeLock Wallet™ app, a mobile app designed to store insurance and identification cards, so that you don’t have to lug them around in your physical wallet.
- Tell your card companies where you’re going to help monitor for unauthorized purchases or so your own real transactions don’t get flagged.
- Try to use a credit card over a debit card. If your card is breached, it may be easier to dispute the charges with your financial institution.
- Make sure your luggage tag only has the key information needed: your last name and phone number. You do not need to list all your personal information.
- Don’t talk about your dates of travel on social media, tipping off would-be thieves to your vacation state of mind.
- When in transit – (e.g., on the plane or in an airport) keep your identification and other crucial documents on your person, not in your luggage.
- Be careful of odd-looking ATMs. Identity thieves attach “card skimmer” devices to grab your information as you’re grabbing cash. Sometimes you can spot them – the card insert slot looks larger or deeper than normal and there is typically a camera.
- Use the hotel room safe to stow away important documents – like your identification.
- Use Wi-Fi cautiously. Don’t transact or check your banking statements and try not to enter any passwords. Same goes for the computers that hotels may offer in business centers; they can also be rigged with simple devices that fit into the USB port to steal your information.
- Stay alert: whether in a social situation – like a bar or club – or in a crowded space – like public transit – be aware of your belongings, in particular your phone and other items with personal information. Only take out your phone when absolutely necessary, and if enjoying the social scene, travel very lightly, be aware of your surroundings, and limit your number of beverages.
- Take a social media vacation on your vacation: even accessing social accounts can increase your chances of identity fraud.
- If you are going to go on social media platforms: never geo-tag. Disable this function on your mobile device.
- Post a #latergram. It’s hard not to snap and post instantly, but try to wait until you get home.
Identity Restoration Specialists at Your Side
If ever a LifeLock member becomes a victim of identity fraud, LifeLock’s Identity Protection Agents are ready to help with identity theft restoration. LifeLock will spend up to $1 million to hire dedicated professionals with industry knowledge and experience to help their recovery. Service guarantee benefits are provided under a master policy issued by State National Insurance Company, and terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy can be found at LifeLock.com/legal. While no one can prevent all identity fraud, LifeLock’s service helps detects potential identity fraud and sends alerts to members. LifeLock only covers US-based accounts and does not cover all transactions or monitor all businesses. If identity fraud does occur, LifeLock is there to help members through the resolution process and offer dedicated agents to help resolve more complicated cases.
LifeLock offers more information about identity theft and tips to help protect personal information at http://LifeLockUnlocked.com.
LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE:LOCK) is a leading provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and fraud and risk solutions for enterprises. LifeLock’s threat detection, proactive identity alerts, and comprehensive remediation services help provide peace of mind for consumers amid the growing threat of identity theft. Leveraging unique data, science and patented technology from ID Analytics, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, LifeLock offers identity theft protection that goes significantly beyond credit monitoring. As part of its commitment to help fight identity theft, LifeLock works to train law enforcement and partners with a variety of non-profit organizations to help consumers establish positive habits to combat this threat.