Ways to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft While Traveling
April 6, 2021
Identity theft is a growing issue of concern worldwide, especially for travelers. Travelers are often vulnerable, seeing as they’re forced to carry extensive personal documents, use unsecured internet connections, and give out their credit card information to vendors that they might never see again.
The travel industry isn’t free from scams, which often lead to identity theft. Some consumers might unknowingly give scammers their bank account information, social security number, credit card information, and other personal information, thereby opening themselves to all forms of theft.
You can also risk becoming an identity theft victim while traveling because someone can steal your confidential information and use it to perpetrate crimes.
So whether you’re traveling to attend a conference or off on vacation, you need to take measures to prevent identity theft. Read on to discover how to do that!
Tips on Preventing Identity Theft While on a Trip
Get Identity Theft Insurance
You can enjoy a stress-free trip when you get identity theft insurance. This insurance can be a part of your homeowner’s policy to protect you if your identity gets stolen. Your policy qualifies you for professional guidance throughout the name restoration process while helping with the costs.
More so, you can use an identity theft protection service like Lifelock to guard against theft. It’s effective for tracking and monitoring your stolen information so you can gain your good name back.
Empty Your Wallet
If you’re used to carrying additional information at home because it’s convenient, remember to empty your wallet before that trip because it might expose you to identity theft.
Go through your purse or wallet and remove anything you don’t actually need. Always ensure you travel lightly as regards carrying sensitive data. You can leave your extra credit cards, saving passbook, checkbook, medical documents, and social security card at home.
Contact Your Financial Institutions
Let the financial institutions you use their services know that you’ll be traveling. Also, notify them of where and when. So they can watch for excessive or unidentified charges and monitor your credit account.
Protect Your Documents
Ensure to protect the few documents you’re taking with you on the trip, such as your passport and driver’s license. Consider using the hotel safe to keep your documents and valuables until you need them.
Watch the Wi-Fi
Be wary of using public Wi-Fi. If you’re using one and receive an alert that your data might not be secure, please heed that warning. Ensure not to use public Wi-Fi to enter sensitive websites, such as your bank account.
Also, always make sure to avoid websites without an “S” in the URL. For instance, http://www implies the website isn’t secured. Instead, look for something like this: https://www. The S means secure, suggesting that the site has encryption for additional security.
Remember to log out of every account you opened while using a public computer and delete all browsing histories and cookies before leaving the place. If you’re using your laptop in public, then get a security plug-in for additional security.
Change PINs and Passwords
Suppose someone discovers your personal identification number (PIN) or password while on a trip; you can change it when you go back to hinder their identity theft plan. However, it’s best to change them before going and when you come back from the trip.
Keep Your Card
It’d be best if you constantly pay in cash for goods and services when you travel than handing out your credit card. You can also ask to pay using a mobile wallet or at a host stand.
This measure is necessary because travelers are more vulnerable than locals and might not notice any issue resulting from the identity theft until they leave.
Protect Your Cell Phone
Consider adding some security measures on your phone, such as a password. This measure will reduce identity theft’s risk, seeing as your phone has lots of your personal information. It’d be best to delete sensitive apps with your personal data, like medical and banking apps, before traveling. Then reinstall them back when you return.
Again, we still state this very important point, consider using an identity theft protection service like Lifelock to protect you from identity thieves and scammers.
Thieves and scammers are always on the lookout for how to steal your identity and make money using your details like selling it on the Dark Web. Ensure not to let your guard down while traveling.
Following the tips we mentioned above will help you guard yourself against identity theft, so you can enjoy your trip without worrying.
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