Protect Identity While Away From Home
Part of the fun of traveling is that you aren’t quite sure what will happen. Yet the one thing no one wants to deal with is fraud or identity theft. Taking some basic travel ID theft prevention steps to protect yourself, your finances, and your future when you’re away from home can make a family vacation or business trip less stressful.
Thieves Love When You Travel
A common bit of wisdom shared across the Internet is that you shouldn’t provide details about when you’ll be out of town on social media. Thieves love when you tell them your house will be unguarded. Local villains aren’t the only ones you should be aware of. Identity thieves often target travelers because it’s easier to get information from folks that are distracted on a vacation or business trip. Some ways identity thieves get personal information from travelers include:
- Using devices to scan and store data shared over public networks like hotel and airport Wi-Fi.
- Pilfering traveler wallets.
- Using skimming devices on ATMs in high traffic areas.
- Going through your mail when you’re out of town.
Tips for Travel ID Theft Prevention
When traveling, be extra vigilant about phishing schemes. Yes, your credit card company may call to confirm you really are making those international charges, but they aren’t going to ask you to give up account information over the phone. In fact, it’s best to let your card company know you’ll be traveling ahead of time; account services can put a note on your file so your account isn’t flagged for suspicious activity and no one tries to contact you.
Other things you can do to protect yourself include:
- Not accessing financial or sensitive accounts on unprotected Wi-Fi networks.
- Reducing the amount of information you carry in your wallet.
- Avoiding generic ATMs.
- Never accessing personal accounts on a shared hotel computer.
- Freezing your credit if you’ll be gone for a lengthy period of time.
- Checking on all accounts for several weeks after your trip to ensure no inappropriate activity is occurring.
What Travel ID theft prevention tactics do you use when away from home?