Identity Theft: 10 Tips to Protect Yourself When Traveling
Identity thieves thrive on neglect – don’t make the mistake of waiting until identity theft occurs to learn about it and how to protect yourself. Follow these 11 tips to travel more safely and securely this summer!
- Secure Identity theft protection before departing. In order to take advantage of innocent (and often clueless) victims, identity thieves prey on the elderly and the young. Protect yourself and your family before you head out.
- Install a GPS app on mobile devices. This way, you can track your phone, tablet, or laptop in the event of theft, loss, or even if you inadvertently misplace it.
- Safeguard your phone. Ensure your phone is protected by setting a numeric code that allows access by only you.
- Register credit cards for travel alerts. Log your dates of travel, or better yet, freeze your credit while away on your trip.
- Keep back-ups of identity cards. Before you depart, make copies or scans of your credit cards, driver license, passport, and health card, and carry them with Keep one set of copies at home.
- Vigilance begins at home. Place holds on your newspaper delivery and your mail. Ask a neighbor to bring in trash cans and water plants. Lock documents in your safe. Buy a timer so that certain lights switch on once the sun goes down. Most important, turn off your Wi-Fi network so no one can access your Internet while you are traveling.
- Be Watchful. Be aware of all the goings on as you travel through shopping malls, airports, and other public spaces. Thieves can snatch wallets/bags from even the most cautious, seasoned travelers.
- Luggage tags should be ultra-minimal. List ONLY your last name and phone number.
- Use the hotel safe. When leaving your hotel room each day, lock those identity card copies in your room’s safe, or better yet, put them in a heavy manila envelope and lock them in the main front desk safe at the hotel. Keep a back-up of these copies at home.
- Travel light. Keep with you only your health insurance card, ONE debit card, ONE credit card, your passport, and your driver license. Leave other forms of identification at home, preferably in a safe.
Save yourself some time by signing that insurance policy before you depart, and then you can better enjoy your travels. Bon voyage!
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