Vacation season is in full swing.
Millions of people are packing up the car, booking flights, rounding up the kids, and heading to their favorite vacation spot. It is the time of year where many forget their worries and relax.
Roan Capital Partners wants you to get the most out of vacation and offers some helpful tips when you hit the road or skies this summer.
When traveling, it is important to secure electronic devices on every trip. Traveling could leave people vulnerable to cyber attacks such as hacking or identity theft.
According to CNN Business, hackers have exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans. Despite this huge number, a University of Phoenix survey found less than half (48 percent) of respondents worry about cybersecurity risks on vacation.
There are some measures to protect yourself in cyberspace. James Ferguson III, Managing Partner of Roan Capital, recommends not turning on an automatic reply to email messages stating you are out of the office.
“I would be really careful when people use ‘out-of-office’ responses on their emails,” Ferguson said. “A lot of people have gotten scammed doing that. If people know you are out of the office and then they see on Facebook you’re in France or wherever, they will try to mess with your stuff.”
He also said people can use an email to sign up for things knowing the person will not see it while they are on vacation.
Another tip is to be wary when hooking up to public Wi-Fi access. People can easily steal a person’s information over an unsecured wi-fi connection.
Joy Garland, Managing Partner of Roan Capital, recommends getting a security service which helps users figure out where there is a secure connection.
“I have MacAfee on my phone and it tells me when a connection is not secure and wants me to log off,” Garland said. “So, when I come into the office, it says Roan Capital Wi-Fi is secure. But at most other places where it is not protected, it says please log out now. I think everyone should have something like that on their phone.”
BACKING UP IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
When people travel, it is sometimes necessary to bring documents. Traveling overseas or on a cruise requires passports, driver’s licenses, and even a birth certificate. It is important when traveling to make sure there is a back up in place.
“Keep a copy of your passport or at least take a picture on your phone,” Garland said. “If you lose it somewhere, having a back up copy or picture makes it easier to get replaced.”
Traveling internationally and losing an identifying document requires going to an embassy to secure a replacement.
The U.S. Department of State said a passport will need to be replaced before someone can return to the United States. They said a person would need to contact the nearest embassy, speak to the Consular Section, provide travel details, and take a new photo before arriving at the consular section.
When a person arrives, they will have to present identification, evidence of U.S. Citizenship, travel itinerary, and documents related to the passport. Having important documents backed up in either a hard or digital copy could save some potential headaches down the road.
LET YOUR BANK KNOW ABOUT TRAVEL
It is important to let your bank know your travel plans. Even if you are not planning on traveling abroad, it is still important to inform your bank about travel.
“Banks want to protect you from identity theft, so they may place a hold on your card for transactions in an unfamiliar place,” Ferguson said. “You don’t want to be caught out at dinner and your card get declined because the bank thinks your card is being used fraudulently.”
Many banks have an online travel notice if the customer uses online banking. This provides people with the ease of entering their destination and length of trip. People can also call their bank or card holders to let them know of their plans or stop by a place in person.
Along those same lines, it is important to take every day precautions when utilizing a debit or credit card. Be wary of card skimming machines. Ferguson said when swiping your credit card if it is difficult to remove from a card reader or easy to remove, it may have a card skimmer.
Ferguson also recommends to always run a bank card as credit.
“That way they don’t have access to your bank account and it’s only showing as credit,” he said. “They tell you to never run it as debit because if someone is stealing your information and you run it as debit, they have access to your routing number and account number. If you run it as credit, they don’t have access to that type of information.
Be sure to plan before traveling. People who are 70 and a half or above could use their IRA distribution strategically because it needs to be taken out anyway to avoid tax penalties.
If using your investments for a trip it is best to let your advisor know several weeks before your trip so they can see if any changes need to be made.
“I wouldn’t recommend selling unless you have planned for it in advance,” Garland said. “The money is there but if it’s not in cash and it’s a bad time to sell that would be not ideal.”
People never want to lock in a loss when investing.
ENJOY THE VACATION
The most important tip from Roan Capital Partners is to enjoy the vacation. Taking proper precautions can put your mind at ease and ensure a relaxing trip.