How to prevent identity theft while traveling? Now this is a question which everyone is asking before heading out for a trip. Identity theft is a growing problem all over the world. When you are traveling, the risk increases to a great extent.
Travelers are more vulnerable to identity theft as they have to carry important documents, use insecure internet connections and use credit cards all the time.
The answer to the question How to Prevent Identity Theft While Traveling is given below. The security tips to protect your identity while traveling are:
1. Remove important documents from your bag/wallet
We usually have the habit of carrying several credit cards, driver’s license and other identification documents. It’s absolutely clear that you would not require driver’s license while you travel. Similarly, try to carry the least possible documents and cards that are absolutely necessary.
2. Secure documents you carry
Now the documents that you have to carry must be carried very safely. Protect your important documents as losing them can make you a victim of identity theft. Store the documents at a place you find safe either with you or in your hotel’s room locker.
3. Be cautious of public Wi-Fi
While traveling, you are forced to use the public Wi-Fi at places such as hotels, airports, cafes, etc. These Wi-Fi connections are not secure as they do not have data-encryption protections. Therefore, it is advised to not use these networks for logging into your important accounts having confidential information.
4. Be careful while using public computers
If for some reasons, you have to use public computers, be stingy. Never auto save your information on google forms as it can lead to identity theft. Delete cookies and browsing history after using the computer. It’s better to use the “incognito mode” available in the Google Chrome browser as it won’t save your search history, passwords, and cookies.
5. Use a Travel E-mail Address
Using your work email address or personal email address could be risky while traveling because of all the sensitive information it contains. Therefore, keep a habit of using a travel email address while traveling to avoid identity theft.
6. Protect your phone
It is very important to secure your phone while traveling as it contains several types of your personal information. Lock your phone with a strong password and logout of all the apps before traveling.
7. Protect your children also
As you protect all your personal documents, in the same way, protect your child’s documents whatever you are carrying to protect your child from child identity theft. Criminals use children’s SSN card to open credit lines, apply for loans, etc.
8. Change Passwords and PIN’s
While heading out for traveling, it is advised to change your passwords and PIN to protect your accounts. You can then change back your passwords and PINs after you return.
9. Don’t share your phone number
It is required to share your phone number with the hotel, airlines, and some similar major companies. But, don’t give your phone number to other people until it is really necessary. Identity thieves use your phone number to find your address and other personal information.
10. Always use secure bank ATM’s
You might have heard of ATM card skimming- a technique in which identity thieves install a skimming device in the ATM to read the card numbers. To protect yourself from this, always use ATMs of banks and not the generic ones as the risk of skimming is quite less in these ATMs.
11. Use cash whenever possible
Using cash is the best, always. Try to use cash as much as you can. You can use credit cards at places such as airports, major hotels, and outlets. At places, which you don’t find secure, avoid using cards. Use cash instead.
12. Secure your mails
Mails will still arrive while you are on vacation. If a thief gets access to your mails in your absence, anything can happen. While you are away, ask your neighbor to collect your mails or you can ask the post office to stop your mails till you arrive. Also, lock your mailbox.
13. Don’t let social media control you
You see posts of people on social media that they are away on a holiday. Prevent your urge of posting the same. Don’t announce to everyone that you are away from your home as it can not only put you at a risk of identity theft but you can also get your house robbed.
14. Freeze your credit
Freezing your credit can be a very good option to protect your finances while you are away on a holiday as it temporarily freezes your credit. When you freeze your credit, no one can access your bank accounts. You can also use your credit cards easily.
15. Conduct a follow up after your trip
After returning from your trip, do a follow up on everything. Check your bank activity, check your credit reports and even your medical insurance.
By taking appropriate measures for Preventing ID Theft While Travelling, your traveling can be a very good experience for you. Take few precautions before and during your vacation and you can protect yourself from identity theft while traveling.