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How do you keep your money safe?

keep money safe while travelling protect your money

Are you still keeping money under your mattress for safekeeping? That may have worked for grandma and grandpa, but we live in a different time.

Here are some tips for keeping your money safe in the 21st century:

1. Keep money safe at home while you’re out: Of course you want to tell friends you’re going on a great vacation, or heading to the zoo or a movie. But, when you “check in” at the beach or the movie theater, using Facebook or Twitter, or you post photos on Instagram, you tell the world you’re away from home and your home is likely empty. Your best bet is to post your photos later, when you’re back home. But if you must post from afar, lock down your security settings so that only people you trust can see your updates right away.

2. Be aware, even when you’re not there: If you’re heading out of town for a few days, stop your mail, newspaper and any other regular deliveries. An overflowing mailbox tells thieves that you’re away. With one of those pre-approved credit card offers, a skilled thief can open a credit card in your name and ruin your credit. And cost you a lot of time, money and hassle.

Keep tabs on your bank accounts, even on vacation. With online banking and smartphone apps, it’s easy to check your balance every day or two and make sure that there are no unexpected transactions.

3. Carry only what you need: If you’re leaving the house, take only as much cash as necessary. Even if your community is safe, you may forget your wallet somewhere or drop it in a parking lot. A benefit of debit and credit cards is that if lost or stolen they can be cancelled with a phone call.

4. Protect your passwords, especially at the ATM: More and more, we’re banking online. It’s convenient, 24-hours and can be very safe. AccountNow takes many precautions to protect your money, but only you can take special care of your login information and passwords. Don’t tell anyone your password. Don’t use the same password for banking that you use for Facebook, online shopping, email, or anything else. It can be tricky to remember many passwords, but it’s essential to keeping your money safe. Hide a printed copy of your passwords in a secure place in your home (not in your wallet), away from your debit and credit cards and financial records.

ATMs can be a prime place for thieves to steal your financial information. Protect yourself and your money at the ATM with these tips:

  • Choose an ATM in a well-lit, wide-open area. Pay attention to your surroundings and note obstructions where someone could be hiding. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, leave immediately and use another ATM.

 

  • Be aware of anyone nearby, especially someone sitting in a parked car. If anyone offers to “help” with your transaction, say no and leave.

 

  • If the ATM looks unusual, don’t use it. Go to a different ATM.

 

  • Don’t let anyone stand too close while you’re using the ATM; you don’t want someone to read your PIN over your shoulder as you’re entering it on the keypad.

 

  • When you get your cash, put it in your pocket or bag immediately. Count it only after you’ve left the area.

 

5. Spread it around: It’s a good idea to have a “stash” of cash on hand for an emergency. Keep the rest in FDIC-insured accounts like an AccountNow Prepaid Card.

You’ve worked hard for your money! Keep it safe by taking these simple precautions. Be careful out there!

Other resources:

Federal Trade Commission
LifeHacker
The Simple Dollar
Bankrate