Travel safety tips for a stress-free vacation

During the summer travel season, it is essential to protect your money, data, and identity. To do this, Mastercard’s cybersecurity experts offer the following tips:

1. Book on Reputable Websites: When booking flights, hotels, or experiences abroad, ensure you interact only with established and reputable vendors. Before making a purchase, read reviews and check the site’s security. Verify the company’s contact information before proceeding.

2. Use Your Own Device and Secure Wi-Fi Networks: Avoid booking or shopping on devices you don’t own or on public Wi-Fi networks such as those in airports, train stations, or cafes. These networks may pose a risk to your information and financial accounts. Use your mobile data or wait until you can use your home network. Keep your devices’ operating systems up to date for critical security updates.

3. Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with the travel benefits and insurance provided by your bank or credit card provider. Understand the chargeback process, which can help in situations like fraudulent or unauthorized charges, damaged or defective goods, or incorrect charges.

4. Protect Your Tech: Set up multifactor authentication, which combines a unique, hard-to-guess passcode with biometrics like your face or fingerprint. This ensures that even if your passcode is compromised, fraudsters won’t be able to access your accounts. Use a traditional plug for charging cords to avoid data transfer risks when using public USB/USB-C ports.

5. Back Up to the Cloud and Carry Hard Copies: Set your phone or device to back up data to the cloud. In case you lose your device, you will still be able to access your travel documentation. Carry hard copies of all your travel documents as an extra precaution.

6. Know Your Card’s PIN and Check Contactless Limits: Knowing your credit card and daily debit card limits and PINs can help make travel easier. The PIN assigned to your card is required at ATMs and some payment terminals abroad. Some countries also have limits on how much you can spend per contactless transaction.

7. Set Up Account Alerts: Setting up alerts can help you monitor your accounts easily and quickly identify transactions that you don’t recognize. Should you suspect fraudulent activity, contact the financial institution that issued your card immediately.

8. Have Multiple Payment Options: Keep an alternate form of payment in a different bag in case your wallet is lost or stolen. Add your eligible debit and credit cards to a digital wallet so you can pay with your mobile device wherever digital payments are accepted.

9. Don’t Overshare: Avoid posting your location or travel agenda on social media. Sharing these details allows potential thieves to keep track of where you are, making it easier for them to time a crime. Be careful which personal details you share in your out-of-office email message, as it could prove useful to fraudsters.

10. Report Your Lost Card Quickly: If your debit or credit card is lost or stolen while you’re traveling, report it to your bank right away. If you previously added your card to a digital wallet and you are still in possession of your device, your card issuer may be able to update your digital wallet with your new card information so that you can continue using it while you wait for your new card to arrive.

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