Tag: "tips"

Tips for travelers to ptotect themselves against identity theft

Here we have a press release with ten ways to make it harder for a thief to steal your identity. Some things seemed strange to me at first (like not putting your name and address on your luggage)
but after a little thought, I think these tips all make some sense (if someone knows your name and address and that you just arrived in a foreign country, then they could get word to thieves near your home who could go in there and steal personal information and other things). Anyway, here’s the press release.

ATLANTA, May 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As summer nears, many people start dreaming about and planning vacation getaways. But while you’re enjoying the beach, identity thieves are devising new ways to steal your personal information. Consumers often let their guards down on vacation, putting them at greater risk of identity theft. In an effort to curb the growing problem of identity theft, Equifax shares the top 10 ways consumers can help protect themselves while traveling:

1. Don’t announce your travel plans on social media. This invites identity thieves to target your house while you’re away.

2. Place a hold on your mail. When criminals see an overflowing mailbox, they see an easy way to steal personal information.

3. Go through your wallet and leave at home your library card and other cards with your name on them. Carry only necessities in your wallet when traveling. Tourist areas are hotspots for pickpockets.

4. Set up a travel alert on your credit card accounts, and freeze your credit with the three credit bureaus.

5. Leave your laptop computer at home if you can. If you must travel with a laptop, update your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Do not access bank accounts from your laptop while in a hotel room or at a coffee shop or other public location.

6. While staying at a hotel, lock important documents such as your passport in a safe.

7. Use only ATMs located in banks.

8. Protect your smartphone. Create a password for access, and use an application with a GPS locator to find your phone if it is lost or stolen.

9. Don’t put your full name and address on luggage tags. Include just your last name and phone number.

10. Tear up and discard used boarding passes. Many travelers leave boarding passes behind in airplanes or hotels. They often contain full names and other personal information.

“Everyone loves a relaxing vacation, but this is not the time to let your guard down about identity theft,” said Trey Loughran, president of the Personal Solutions unit at Equifax. “By developing good identity protection habits at home and on the road, you can reduce your risk of becoming a victim.” Visit www.IdentityProtection.com powered by Equifax for more information and resources on identity theft and how to help protect yourself and your family.

Missing tourists and travel safety tips

A NYC woman, Sarai Sierra, goes missing in Istanbul (Istanbul is considered a fairly safe city while Turkey is considered safe for tourists overall) and we have to renew our interest in travel safety. The media has largely lost interest in the case, but I did find this recent article about the search.

So what do you do to keep yourself safe when traveling, particularly when traveling alone?

Most of the tips I see are common sense – stick to busy areas at night, don’t look like a tourist, don’t wear flashy jewelry, that sort of thing. I’m looking for tips that may be a little less obvious if anyone has them.

One thing that might help is the Google latitudes smart phone app or something similar. I know when my friend went biking around The Netherlands, he used one of those apps to track his entire trip and get a location for every photo he took. I used Latitudes when driving from Florida to New York to Boston and back. This way instead of checking in every hour, my friends or parents could just look at their phones to see where we were. I could see something like that helping in a missing persons case – friends would be able to report locations to the police, who would have a better help retracing the missing person’s steps.

Sometimes the same topic
can be more funny than scary, like when a bus driver counts wrong and everyone on the bus begins looking for someone who had been on the bus in the first pace. The headlines quip about the woman searching for herself, but the people sitting next to her and the driver who counted wrong seem just as laughable to me.

Any tips for avoiding getting seasick?

Last time I went on a cruise to the Caribbean it was 1991. I was barely a teenager so my memory may be a bit fuzzy but what I remember is that for a day or so off the coast of the Carolinas everyone on the boat except me, my father, and my grandfather got seasick.

There were little bags for vomit everywhere and you barely saw anyone except crew. Someone told us that the water often got rough around there and that the seasickness thing was not uncommon. I don’t want that to happen to anyone in my family on my upcoming summer cruise so I was wondering if anyone had any tips for avoiding seasickness. Here are a few options so far…

1. Dramamine

Take 2 30 minutes before you leave.

2. Ginger

Buy some ginger tea… Myth Busters did a show on this and said ginger is the best, you can buy them in pill form as well.

3. Relief Band

I’m told it works well. It’s a little pricey though, around $130.

4. Look at the horizon

If you feel a little sick while out there, stare at the horizon. Staying above deck alone is pretty good, but staying above deck and looking at the horizon is best.

That’s because seasickness is caused by a confusion of sorts in the brain. The Chochlea in the ear is filled with salt water basically and when the boat rocks it moves and tells your brain that you are moving. However, your eyes and your body tell your brains that you are not moving. The brain doesn’t like mixed signals and so that is why you get nausea.

When you look over the horizon your eyes tell your brain that you are moving and it kind of synchronizes with the ear.

Also, don’t go below decks if you can help it. I heard from one guy who was fine till he went in the confined space of the head while the boat was rolling. It ruined his trip.

5. Meclizine

An anti-nausea/anti-motion sickness medicine which I’m told works well.

6. Bonnie

I know a scuba diver and he swears by Bonine. He says it is much better the Dramamine. Bonine does not make you tired. All the diver use Bonine. The trick with all the pills is to take it with food and about 1 hour before boarding the boat.