traveling securely http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12339/all en-US How Well Do You Know Your Facebook Friends? Precautions for Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-facebook-friends-precautions-for-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-well-do-you-know-your-facebook-friends-precautions-for-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/facebook for travelers pic.jpg" alt="facebook for travelers" title="facebook for travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have visited six countries in the last six months. And every time I've crossed a border (and sometimes even when I haven't), Facebook has known about it.</p> <p>&quot;<em>We don't recognize the location you're logging in from</em>,&quot; they begin. So, in order to test the authenticity of my identity, they ask permission to run me through a few questions.</p> <p>The first step is easy enough. To prove that I'm not a computer, I have to recognize and enter the squiggly letters and numbers generated for me. No problemo.</p> <p>However, the next step is slightly more harrowing. I am told that I'll be shown a series of pictures of my Facebook friends, and that I must correctly identify them. Out of the six or so photos, I can say &quot;I don't know&quot; for two. The rest, I must identify &mdash; <em>correctly </em>&mdash; or I'll be barred access to my account.</p> <p>A saving grace is that for each photo, I'm given five choices as to who the friend could be, and sometimes I'm shown two photos of the Facebook friend in question. So even if we're not the best of friends, I can sometimes narrow the choices down by the sheer powers of deduction.</p> <p>But how many friends do you have on Facebook? How well do you know these friends? And how many of these friends like to upload blurry drunken shots from their cell phone, or pictures from childhood, or pictures of something completely unrelated (like their cat) that are accidentally tagged as them?</p> <p>I have a friend who is a Facebook fiend. If he has the slightest encounter with somebody &mdash; anybody &mdash; he becomes friends with them on Facebook. For him, it is a challenge to see how many Facebook friends he can accumulate. I have another friend who loves to play Facebook games, and in order to gain status or higher points, she needs to accumulate more friends &mdash; and she does so promiscuously. I would wager that the Facebook security process of identifying their &quot;friends&quot; wouldn't auger well for either of them.</p> <p>Until now, I've been happy to use my personal Facebook account as a bit of a business and social networking tool. I've &quot;friended&quot; people I know online whom I have some sort of relationship with, even if I don't know them really well &mdash; despite my inability to identify them in a picture attending some wedding 10 years ago.</p> <p>But now, with these regular security checks levied every time I change locations (which, as a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com">full-time traveler</a>, is a lot), I'm weary. More than once I've been down to the wire in my photo-identifying frenzy, sometimes having to make educated guesses as to who the &quot;friend&quot; might be since I'd already selected &quot;I don't know&quot; twice.</p> <p>What happens if you incorrectly identify a friend or otherwise fail the Facebook security test? Thankfully, I don't know. I'm sure there would be some identity-related hoops to jump through in order to reinstate the account &mdash; hoops I hope I'll never have to navigate.</p> <p>This must be a fairly new initiative, because in my near-four years of full-time travels, I've only undergone these security checks in the last few months. And I actually quite like the idea that Facebook is working on security and privacy in this way. But I'm also very wary of accepting anybody I don't personally know (and by personally, I mean in-person) as a friend. To keep in touch with people I don't know as well, I have a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/theprofessionalhobo">fan page</a>. And if you're planning on doing much traveling in the future and want access to your account, you may want to set up a fan page yourself, or study up on your friends' Facebook photos.</p> <p>How do you use your Facebook account? And how well do you know your Facebook friends? Could you &quot;pass the test&quot;?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-facebook-friends-precautions-for-travelers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-social-media-stars-who-earn-way-more-than-you">5 Social Media Stars Who Earn Way More Than You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive">10 Ways to Make Facebook Productive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Technology Travel Facebook online security social media traveling securely Thu, 09 Sep 2010 13:00:06 +0000 Nora Dunn 230284 at http://www.wisebread.com Travel and Money: How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_4929_1.JPG" alt="traveling safely as a tourist" title="traveling safely as a tourist" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Traveling safely and managing your money along the way is an exercise in balancing multiple risks: theft, loss, high surcharges, and confusing discrepancies. This <strong>Travel and Money series </strong>discusses various ways to address money and security issues while you are abroad. </em></p> <p>Today we&rsquo;ll address getting and carrying cash safely and securely while you&rsquo;re actively traveling on the road. Depending on where you go, it&rsquo;s easy to be labeled as a tourist, which automatically makes you a target for theft and robbery. And in some countries, pick-pocketing is a finely attuned art form. In other places, full-on muggings are common occurrences. So it pays to be judicious about how you carry your cash so you aren&rsquo;t left stranded.</p> <h2>Where to Get Cash</h2> <p>You have a few options for where to get your cash if you are in a country with a different currency:</p> <ul> <li>You can convert funds at your home bank and bring foreign currency abroad with you. If the currency conversion rates are fairly stable or at a particularly favorable rate before you leave, this could be a good plan. But think hard about how much cash you want to convert and carry at the onset; if you covert all your spending money right away and carry it with you throughout your trip, you have no recourse if the cash is lost or stolen.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You could carry home currency and convert it periodically while abroad. However again you leave yourself at the risk of loss or theft of all your coffers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Lastly is my preferred method, which is to use ATMs abroad. You may be subject to a few different fees, but they&rsquo;re not exorbitant and are often comparable to what you would pay to exchange money along the way. You also have the added protection of not having to carry all your cash with you all the time. For some tips on how to manage fees and make effective cash withdrawals, check out this article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road">using your debit card on the road</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>Cash Conversion Tips</h2> <p>If you bring cash from home and plan to convert it along the way (or if you are visiting multiple countries and need to convert as you cross borders), take heed of the following tips:</p> <ul> <li>Don&rsquo;t convert your cash at the airport. The currency exchange booths have clued in to how easy it is for us lazy tourists to simply convert our funds at the airport (or other transportation hub), so they jack up the conversion rates and commission fees. Instead, wait until you get into town and find a bank or exchange booth there. If you need money right away (to pay for an airport bus for example), consider using an ATM instead (see tips above), or charging the expense to your credit card.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Beware of friendly locals offering to exchange money for you. There&rsquo;s a reason they&rsquo;re offering up this service, and it isn&rsquo;t sheer benevolence. Even if it&rsquo;s not a full-on scam, they&rsquo;re getting something for playing the middle-man, and it&rsquo;s coming out of your pocket.</li> </ul> <h2>How to Carry Your Cash Securely: Diversify!</h2> <p>Carrying all your cash in one place (usually a wallet) puts you at the biggest risk of losing the whole enchilada if somebody lifts (or if you lose) your wallet. In addition, when you whip out your wallet to pay for something and are sifting through large amounts of money, you will immediately become a formidable target for theft.</p> <p>So carry your cash in a few different places. Put the day&rsquo;s spending money in your wallet (this can also be an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-budget">effective budgeting</a> technique), and then stash some cash in a few other places which you don&rsquo;t access in public; maybe a money belt, lock some in your luggage (an unlikely place like with your dirty clothes is good), and/or put a few emergency bills in your shoe (underneath the insole is great).</p> <p>I tend to carry emergency cash in a special pocket underneath my clothing, so if I lose everything, I still have some cash to get me out of whatever bind I may have found myself in.</p> <h2>Using Cash to Your Advantage while Traveling</h2> <p>Although it&rsquo;s no secret that I am a fan of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">using credit cards on the road</a>, there are some instances when you can use cash to your advantage. When you are looking at making a purchase (regardless of whether you are in a country where haggling is the norm), ask the vendor if they will give you a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-discount-every-time">discount</a> if you pay with cash. Vendors often have to pay a premium for customers who use credit and debit cards, so if they know you're paying with cash, they could cut you a deal. I&rsquo;ve had great luck with this at home too; especially with service providers like auto mechanics.</p> <p>Stay tuned for many more articles in this <strong><em>Travel and Money series</em></strong>, helping you to travel safely, securely, and effectively.</p> <h3>Other articles in this <em>Travel and Money Series</em>:</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road" target="_blank">Using your Debit Card on the Road</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road" target="_blank">Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-passport-carrying-tips">Travel and Money: Passport Carrying Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets">Travel and Money: Carrying Decoy Wallets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-facebook-friends-precautions-for-travelers">How Well Do You Know Your Facebook Friends? Precautions for Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel carrying cash safe travel travel and money traveling securely Thu, 22 Jul 2010 13:00:04 +0000 Nora Dunn 184616 at http://www.wisebread.com