Today we’re giving away a $20 gift card! All you need to do is read the blog post below and leave a comment to qualify!

1)    Secure your Electronics
Losing a phone or a computer is stressful enough! Prevent additional hassle and protect your identity by turning your password protection on while you travel. Otherwise, Mr. Sticky Fingers could have access to pictures, messages, and email accounts with secure information that can be used to steal your identity, spend your money, and even tarnish your reputation. And with your phone and computer gone, you won’t even be able to post an angry FB status about it. Now that’s disastrous.

2)    Make it a habit to triple check your wallet or purse
To prevent the chance of losing your wallet or purse, make it part of your routine to check it every so often. Maybe it will be every time you get into your car or every time you leave to go to a different place during your day. This makes it much easier should your cards go missing, to track them down and eliminate possibilities. If you know you had them when you left your hotel, and when you left the restaurant, it narrows down the places you may have left them or the places they could have been taken from you, which increases your odds of getting them back.

3)    Remember Public Wi-Fi Means Public Eyes
We’ve all done it. The message pops up that the Public Wi-Fi we’re using is an “insecure network” and we quickly dismiss it like the annoying reminders for Virus Scans. However, criminals take advantage of this and using a technique to pull data transmitted over these public networks, can intercept all of your personal information.

So, refrain from logging onto websites that hold personal information like bank accounts or making purchases that require filling in that personal information like your billing address, bank accounts, and credit card information. If you need to check your account, you can always call so program your bank’s number into your phone.

4) Clear All Your Cookies and History After Using Public Computers
Whether you’re using the business center at your hotel or a computer station found around college campuses, be sure to avoid transmitting personal information including bank accounts and credit card info, but also remember to clear all the history and clear all your cookies. Otherwise, someone who uses the computer after you could have access to passwords (which are often automatically saved), banking information, and other personal information they could access through your email account and Facebook account.

5)    Bring Only the Basics
Bring only the essentials: A credit card and ID. Stop there if you can. Credit cards are easier to cancel and you can prepare for the worst by having the number to call already programmed in your phone. You could just bring cash and leave your debit card behind if possible. You can always withdrawal more cash from your bank while you travel. There is no need to bring your passport or social security card with you if you’re traveling within the country. You should never have your social security card in your wallet or purse that you carry around with you every day. Same goes with your passport. Leave behind your gym membership card, insurance cards, and other random member cards you’ve forgotten you collected throughout the years. Clear out your wallet, empty out your purse, and just bring the basics.

Member Benefit for Road Warriors:
Staying safe is important while you travel and GEICO has partnered with NSCS to offer you a FREE quote for your car insurance so you can save money and hit the road with more money left to spend! Remember to get this quote on a personal computer or secure Wi-Fi because even though you love to travel, you may NOT love paying for another “you” to do the same.

Derilyn Devlin recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Sociology and Communications. She was actively involved as an NSCS officer for two years as an undergrad and is grateful to continue her involvement as an NSCS Member Engagement Coordinator working with college students. She loves to travel, dance, and write. Obsessions include her NPR app, Spotify, playing with her Jack-Russell Chihuahua Shakespeare, Breaking Bad, and caramel macchiatos.