Planning to travel this summer, announce your itinerary online, and then leave your house unmanned for the boogie man and his homies to break into?
You should maybe rethink that strategy.
Personally, I have a brother the size of a bouncer and a dog that’s meaner than a lactating wild boar guarding the crib when we travel. Dog was unwilling to produce her scary face on command, but Bruncle sent along this gem to scare potential villains off preemptively…
If you break into The Casa after seeing that, you are seriously insane and you deserve an afternoon of dancing naked in my panties without interruption.
For on-the-go safety, we use top secret security codes on our electronics, never do online banking at random hotels or in airports, and only use credit cards and the small wads cash that we stash all over the multi-pocket fishing jackets that we all wear.
I’m a total liar.
We DO make my bouncer brother stay over, but our dog is about as docile as a dandelion. I travel with my laptop, cell phone, iPad, video camera, and every other pocket sized electronic I can get my hands on.
And I rarely use cash for anything, whether I’m on vacation or not. I’m just lazy like that.
But, after doing a teeny bit of research on how bad guys do what they do to get over on unsuspecting travelers, I may be changing my criminal inviting ways.
I’m just making it too easy for them.
Not that I’m even remotely worth robbing, but still, I don’t want to have to get all gangsta at the beach, or, um,
spend an afternoon crying and snotting at the police station something. And, I seriously don’t want that for you either.
Dumb Mom’s Guide to Having a Safer, Worry Free Vacation This Summer
1. Be careful what you say online. I know, I know, oversharing is the fun part of blogging. But, do you really want to notify all the bad guys stalking you on Facebook that you’re leaving the family jewels (and that Range Rover you’ve been blogging about) at home, unattended, while you head to the South of France for the summer? Sure, sure,
we know you like to brag you’re anonymous online, but you may want to stop and think about just how anonymous you really are. Do the background of your photos give you away? What about that friend who comments on your Facebook page everyday with her open profile stating she lives right up the street from you? Or the one that checks in at your house every single time she comes over? Yeah, check that.
2. Be tricky. Get the light timers on your house, have the post office hold your mail, ask a neighbor to pick up your papers and roll your trash cans back up to the house from the street. That way your crib doesn’t sit there for two weeks screaming to thieving passersby: Hey bad man, come inside and still all my goodies while my people are off having fun.
3. Stick to plastic. Remember the days of traveler’s checks? Do people still use those? I have no idea, but I do know that it’s not safe to traipse all over Mexico with your entire savings in Pesos on your person. Credit cards are just safer since you can cancel them if they get jacked.
4. Avoid spooky spots. Sure, it’s exciting to visit the Red Light District in Amsterdam. In the DAYTIME. Unless you are actually planning to, um, partake in some services that are better explored under the cover of darkness. Then, by all means, put a shank in your sock and go have fun. In fairness to the lovely
prostitutes working girls of Amsterdam, I’ve actually been to the Red Light District without being stripped of my nonexistent riches (or my clothing) so it isn’t necessarily as unsafe as it is thrilling. Point is though, if the alley looks dark and dangerous, probably it is and you should stick to the main roads where all of the other tourists are kickin’ it.
5. Love your electronics. Passwords are an amazing thing. They don’t keep the baddies from stealing your phone or your iPad, but they do keep them from sending all of your contacts those, um, “fun” pictures you have of yourself if they do wind up with it. Yes, it happens. And, I know entering a password every time you want to check the weather or the score or whatever is annoying, but so is trying to explain to your boss why he just got a picture of your junk. Or becoming a victim of identity theft during travel because not only did the perp (I love that word) do obnoxious things with your photos when he stole your phone, but he also got all of your bank access codes and bought porn with your meager life savings. P.S. Making your password, “password” is probably not as clever as you think it is, just so you know.
So, how do you keep your family safe when you travel?
*Today’s post was brought to you by scary faced little brothers, bad guy crime syndicates, and those at Identity Guard fighting online identity thieves everywhere. I received the kID Sure service for no charge and have been compensated for my participation in this program. All opinions, scary photos, and witty commentary are my own.