Tips & Advice

Are you really ready for your summer adventure?

Presented by Larry Larsen, Director of Cyber Security

Where are you vacationing this summer? With so many fun places to travel, sometimes the hardest part is deciding where to go and when to hit the road.

Vacations are meant to be relaxing and fun, so the last thing you want while you're traveling is to find out your credit or debit cards are frozen because of questionable activity detected by your financial institution. That will kill the mood faster than a rainy day at the beach.

Plan ahead to ensure that your vacation isn't interrupted.

Here are some of the things you can do to save yourself from the headache of a denied credit or debit card transaction:

Submit a Travel Notification
In the days leading up to your trip, take a minute to submit a Travel Notice within Online Banking or the Mobile App using the Account Tools feature.

A Travel Notification lets us know that purchases made outside your local area are really you, and minimizes the chance that your card is suspended. If you plan to travel oversees, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In the event you encounter a difficult situation while traveling, it makes it easier for the local Embassy to provide assistance.

Keeps tabs on your account
Set Account Alerts within Online Banking to monitor your balance, withdrawals, deposits and more. These real-time alerts will help you to keep tabs on your account. Consider using the Mobile App when you're on the road to check your accounts, transfer funds, or even deposit checks safely without having to rely on local Internet connections, which may not be secure.

Control your Debit Card
CardValet® is a FREE App you can download and use with your Debit Card. It allows you to restrict transactions based on your geographic location, set spending limits and use your smartphone to lock or unlock the card. Best of all, it sends you a real-time alert when your card is used.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Whether you're traveling or not, you should NEVER use public Wi-Fi hotspots, like coffee shops or hotel lobbies, for anything more than checking the weather or looking up an address.

Most connections are not secure. That means that any cyber bad guy with the right gear can see everything you do while you're connected. If you must make an online purchase or you need to enter a password while you wait for your coffee, use the wireless data connection that's already on your smartphone or tablet. It's already secure and virtually impossible to hack.

Consider these tips before you leave for vacation. Staying safe while traveling will help you make priceless memories and avoid any unpleasant activity that could negatively affect your account.