Financial Safety Tips: How to Protect Your Identity While Traveling

(“Agent X, client, friend of the Camardas and friend of the firm, is ex-FBI, ex-black ops, and probably ex-lots of stuff Jeff does not know about. He is a very serious and scary dude.  He knows his stuff! Listen to him!).

On a recent flight from Phoenix to Atlanta I saw something that made me cringe. No, it was not someone being dragged off the airplane. Actually, it was even more disturbing – especially from the perspective of a Security Professional for the protection of a peoples’ personal data.

A lady three rows in front of me in Business Class (not me,  I was frugally in steerage) had her Delta Reserve card, iPad, and IPhone laid neatly and very publically on her tray. So, what was the issue?  The card was face up and anyone who wanted to could have read the number and the security code, or slyly photoed it from a smartphone. Additionally, she had a simple two-character password for both Apple devices. Something like “1122”. I know this because she advertised the data entry with no attempt to conceal so all could see it. Finally, she had blue tooth enabled on the phone and tablet and had no protection to it either, broadcasting freely to all who would snoop.

What should you learn from this observation is simple.  Don’t think crooks do not fly and watch to steal data! Shoulder surfing on a plane is a daily occurrence. They read your data and your emails. They hunt for weakness. Protect your credit cards and do not leave them around so ALL can see them and potentially use them to steal your money and your identity.

Your role as the protector of your data is as serious as a cop’s!  You have the primary duty. Protect it at all times and never let it alone so others can see it. And the worst? At one point she actually got up from her seat to go to the restroom and left her card on the tray. This time, it was still there when she got back. Next time, who knows?  And if others did not take pictures of her card, I’d be astonished.  Take it from this secret agent man, protect your data so others cannot use it! Be careful,  wherever you are.

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