Traveling to Europe

August 14, 2018

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We’re halfway through August so there’s still time to go on a jaunt to Europe or wherever. And, of course, September is always beautiful everywhere – not muggy like August or freezing like February.

Venice, Italy

FIVE WAYS TO KEEP YOUR MONEY AND IDENTITY SAFER

ONE: ACCESS WI-FI WISELY

Here’s advice from a piece in Travel & Leisure, April 2018 written by Sarah Bruning. “Using public networks in an airport, café or hotel is not good from a cyber-security standpoint, they can be easily hacked. A better idea is to install a virtual private network (VPN) on your mobile device,” says Eva Velasquez, CEO of Identity Theft Resource Center. “It acts like a private tunnel onto the Internet and can keep hackers from monitoring your activity.”

TWO: KEEP YOUR BOARDING PASS SECURE

“That little slip of paper might seem innocent enough, but you’d be surprised how many specifics someone can glean from one. Housed within bar codes is the traveler’s frequent flyer number,” notes Paige Schaffer who runs the digital protection unit of Generali Global Assistance. “A shrewd person can use clues from a traveler’s social media profile to answer security questions and access the account – or even obtain passport numbers, mailing and e-mail addresses.”

Never throw away your boarding pass

THREE: PARE DOWN WHENEVER POSSIBLE

Before heading out for a day of exploring, look at the cards in your wallet and store any nonessential ones in your room’s safe. Velasquez also says,  “Write down the cards you’re carrying and their contact numbers. Keep the list in the hotel safe as an easy reference if problems arise or you need to report anything stolen.”

FOUR: INSPECT ATMS CAREFULLY

Ideally you should always withdraw money from a machine attached to a bank. Scammers can install skimming devices that capture your info when you insert your card – and they have become increasingly hard to spot. Schaffer adds, “Shield the keypad when you’re typing your PIN to combat inconspicuous video recorders hidden by criminals looking to score your card number and access code.”

FIVE: CONVERT CURRENCY STRATEGICALLY

“Often you can order currency from your bank by phone or online and pick it up at your local branch,” Schaffer says. The convenience will typically cost a bit extra, but the premium may be worth considering if you’re concerned about security at your destination or just prefer the convenience of having cash on hand immediately upon arrival. Alternatively, at most international airports, you can find a bank-affiliated ATM inside the terminal that will usually be safe and offer the best value.

10 WAYS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) IS FOR YOU

Emerging technology – AI has the potential to change business forever

This is from Fast Company, May 2018 – use it if you feel inclined.

#1 Write better emails (Boomerang for Gmail) Will your email rate a reply? This add-on will tell you – based on subject header, reading level and length.

#2 Focus your mind (brain.fm) A handy desktop and mobile music app that creates ambient sound to help users concentrate on a task, meditate or sleep. Five free sessions.

#3 Create killer presentations (Beautiful.AI) Users can overcome PowerPoint anxiety with this free app that offers more than 50 templates. It observes the rules of good design and adjusts slides as you add content.

#4 Track time (Timely) will follow the docs and apps you, or your team, are working on – and then present its assessments for approval. A solo account starts at $8.00 a month for tracking three projects.

#5 Schedule a meeting (Clara) Include “Clara” a virtual executive administrator, on email correspondence when trying to set up a meeting and this AI-as-a-service works with all parties to book it. CLICK HERE to read the remaining five tips.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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