NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Data breaches have become common in the last few years, and recent breaches, like the one at Marriott, have raised questions about how much data travelers hand over to hotels.
More than a dozen hotel chains have reported breaches since 2010, and the pace is not letting up.
Unfortunately, when you book a hotel room, you’re giving up control over some of your personal information. Once you hand it over, there isn’t much you can do to safeguard it.
Hotel reservations can include a lot of information, like birth dates, addresses, loyalty numbers, credit card information and even passport numbers.
That could let criminals open fraudulent accounts in your name, or even allow thieves to target your home if they know when you’re planning a trip.
So what can you do?
Use a credit card, not a debit card. Credit cards offer more protections against losses.
Limit the amount of personal information you provide. Does the hotel really need your date of birth or passport number?
If there has been a breach after your stay, monitor your accounts closely for any unauthorized activity.
Beware of suspicious emails – sometimes news of a breach brings spyware-laced phishing emails that consumers are more likely to click on.
Get a monitoring service that watches website where stolen information is stored, which the hotel chain may offer at no charge.
Finally, request free credit reports from the three major credit bureaus to see if anyone has tried to open an account using your information.
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