Having your identity stolen is a major headache. Unfortunately, it can happen at any time – even while you’re on vacation. Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft while traveling.
Keep your mail safe
The first important tip is to protect your mail. If you know you get regular mail, it is better to have it rerouted to your current location. You will avoid arousing curiosity from a filled mailbox at home and having someone steal your information. Open a virtual mailbox to receive your mail from anywhere in the world. This way, you don’t miss any important communication, and no one else opens your mail.
Be alert and aware
Be aware of your surroundings always. Try to mark landmarks and exit routes. It is crucial to observe who is around you when shopping. If you use your card, be sure no one is watching you enter your PIN or card information. If someone seems suspicious, cancel the transaction and move to a different location.
Keep an eye on your belongings while traveling, and do not leave them unsecured in public places.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Be careful when using public Wi-Fi networks. Try avoiding them altogether. Hackers can easily access information on non-encrypted networks. Use only secure Wi-Fi networks for online activities such as shopping or banking.
If you must use public Wi-Fi, do not log into sensitive accounts (like email or banking) on these networks. When on public Wi-Fi, use a VPN for added security. A bonus tip is to never store passwords or login credentials on your laptop or smartphone, especially while traveling.
Do not carry sensitive information
It may seem obvious to seasoned travelers but do not carry any sensitive information with you when you travel. Information like your social security number, home address, family, etc. needs to stay at home. If you must carry documents with sensitive information, use the hotel safe.
Don’t give out personal information to strangers. This information includes your email address, family details, home address, and more. You can make friends by sharing relevant, general information until the person has proven trustworthy.
Be wary of phishing scams if you give your email for booking or receipts after shopping. If you notice an email giving away rewards from the hotel you stay at or a club you visited, be wary. Protect your financial data from fraudsters by being selective about what information you give.
Monitor your bank statements
Finally, keep a close eye on your credit card statements and bank account activity for any unauthorized charges. If you see something that doesn’t look right, report it immediately.
Ideally, you should also avoid using checks or debit cards while in a new place. It will make it harder for identity thieves to take over your financials.
Traveling is an enjoyable privilege. Protecting your identity while traveling allows you to enjoy your work or vacation without added stress. Ensure you keep your identity safe when you next travel.