As we continue our focus on safety and the traveler we are examining an oft forgotten part of travel safety: making sure you keep your travel loyalty and rewards program accounts safe.
For the month of September we are focusing on Traveler Safety.Â Each Tuesday we will do a deep dive into some element related to traveling safer for work (or pleasure for that matter). Be sure toÂ read all of the preceding Travel Tip Tuesday’s here.Â
Travel Tip Tuesday #36 – Secure your loyalty program accounts
As frequent travelers we all have multiple loyalty program accounts. Maybe it’s your Southwest Rapid Rewards account, or Hilton Honors account, or even a National Rental Car Emerald Club account but I bet you’ve got several.
And for credit card programs I am sure you try to keep them secure…but…when’s the last time you changed your password? Do you even know how good (if at all) the security is for your chosen provider?
Earlier this year, The Points Guy shared an interesting story about how a writer’s JetBlue points were stolen. It’s not a pretty sight. And it’s not the only instance of this occurring. Here’s a few other semi-recent incidents:
- My Hilton Account was Hacked by Live and Let Fly
- Hilton Honors Points are Getting Stolen through Amazon Purchases
- My Hilton account was hackedâ€¦ Twice by the Frequent Miler
- Hackers steal Hilton Hotels’ loyalty program reward points
This is only a snippet of instances, but this is likely a more frequent occurrence than is reported.
Points have value. Thus, they are a target. It’s as simple as that.
As such, savvy travelers will take appropriate steps to secure their accounts.
How to secure your loyalty accounts
To better secure your reward accounts consider these steps:
- Change your password frequently (we recommend every 90 days – whether prompted to our not)
- Avoid using the same password for other accounts (e.g. your Yahoo email)
- Never click on links in emails. This common phishing attempt is an easy one to avoid. Even if the email is legit (or looks legit) from the company (say Hilton) I don’t click on the links. Instead, I manually type the URL in my browser
- Always use basic cyber security techniques (I could go on for days here, but suffice to say…use strong passwords, antivirus software, patching, firewalls, avoid dodgy websites…etc)
Be sure to secure any accounts where you aggregate (via transfer) various points as well.
What cyber security measures do you use to secure your loyalty accounts? Drop us a comment below or tweet us!
For more cyber security travel tips be sure to check out 7 Cyber Security Travel Tips you need know!
Thanks for reading this week
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Here is some practical Travel Gear to make your next trip safer:
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