It’s the summer, your kids are out of school and the family is ready for the vacation you have planned for months. We look forward to time away from stresses of everyday life and a chance to create memories with family. Unfortunately, relaxing means letting your guard down and leaving your credit card in a restaurant this opens you to identity theft.
Identity theft, especially among travelers has become such a problem as we find ourselves vulnerable when traveling in a different state or foreign country. We are vulnerable when using unsecured internet connections, carrying personal documentation and sharing credit card numbers with different merchants. What can you do to protect yourself when traveling? Review the following tips that you can do before and after your trip to keep your personal information secure.
Traveling Tips to Avoid Identity Theft
- Inform your bank and credit card issuers that you will be traveling. Your bank and creditors will know where to contact you if they see unusual activity use coming from your accounts.
- Put a hold on your mail. Consider calling your post office so they can place a hold on your mail. This way your mail does not pile up in your mailbox informing others you are not home.
- Keep your cell phone secure by installing a password in case it is lost or stolen. Consider deleting bank or credit card apps that could have saved log-in information.
- Make a copy of all you and your family’s important documents such as passports, driver’s license and emergency contact numbers making it easier to replace lost documents.
- Use only bank ATM’s avoid those at convenience stores or hotels where identity thieves could install card readers.
- Do not share your traveling information on social media this will keep potential thieves away from your home.
- Only take essential items and remember to remove other credit cards or receipts containing personal information to avoid losing them.
- Your luggage tags should only list your last name and phone number ensuring your name and address stay confidential.
- Check statements after your trip to verify all charges made to your bank account and credit card transactions are valid.
Hopefully these tips will prevent you from having to deal with identity theft, safe travels!