Identity theft is one of the most alarming cases in the country today. An identity thief would strike at any moment, especially when you are most vulnerable. In case you think that identity theft wouldn’t mind bothering you on your vacation, then think again. According to the experts, a rising number of identity thefts on tourists are becoming one of the most disturbing news nowadays. As a traveler, you need to protect yourself from such kind of problems. Simple yet effective preventive measures can be done to safeguard your identity as you travel whether you visit for relaxation or for business purposes. Here are some tips that will help you to reduce the risks of identity theft while you are on vacation.
- Keep Personal Identifiers on a Safe Place – if you love your wallet, identity thieves also would love to get a hand on it. Most of us put our personal identifier such as our driver’s license, postal ID, and other identification card in our wallets for convenience. While convenience is never an issue with wallet, security is always a concern when it comes to managing it. More often than not, thieves would easily snatch our wallets without us even knowing about it. As a result, we end up getting our identity stolen because of such event. One way to prevent identity theft is by making sure that our personal identifiers are kept somewhere safe. Although it’s a simple preventive measure, it’s something definitely worth doing as it saves you from all the hassles and issues of identity theft.
- Stop Mail or Have Someone to Collect Them for You – if you are planning on travelling for a long period of time, it would be better if you stop your mail until you arrive. Our mailbox is one of the places where thieves would go to in order to get our personal information. Smart travelers would stop their mail or ask a friend or a neighbor to collect mails for them. In doing so, you’ll prevent identity theft before it can strike you during your most vulnerable time. Online mails are good as long as you don’t use a public computer during your trip. You can still receive emails while on your trip if you have your laptop with you.
- Avoid Public Computers – as much as possible, don’t login on public computers such as on internet cafes as these are where most identities are stolen. In case you don’t know, there are programs that are capable of stealing your information once you’ve logged in on a specific computer. Some of these are installed on the units in most internet cafes. If you’re not aware of them, you can easily become a victim of identity theft. In short, never access bank accounts or any important information on a public computer.
- Choose ATMs that are not on Isolated Areas – more often than not, ATMs on isolated areas are unsafe as they can be used by the criminal minds. If you visit an unfamiliar place, never withdraw money from such ATM. In fact, you should only do transactions on ATMs commonly used by most people in that area.
- Don’t Bring Your Bills with You – basically, if your purpose for your travel is for relaxation and de-stressing, then there’s no point on bringing your bills with you. As much as possible, don’t be tempted on bringing your bookkeeping responsibilities with you on your travel. Leave your bills at home, so that you can relax without worrying about identity theft. Working your bills during your trip will only bring more problems in case they get lost. In addition, you can’t enjoy your travel if your mind is still concerned with your work.
- Don’t Announce Your Travel on Any Social Networking Sites – more and more criminals are lurking social networking sites. Why? Basically, it’s a lot easier to stalk someone through their social networking accounts nowadays. Most of them invite you to be their friends. Once accepted, they’ll slowly sneak into your profile to get the information they need. They work their plans once you are out on a trip. In fact, it only entices criminals to get into your unguarded house and steal valuable information and assets while you are away. So, announcing your trip wouldn’t be a good idea after all.
- Tell the Credit Card Company Where You’re Going – one way to prevent bogus charges is by telling the credit card company about your destination. Doing so will allow them to keep track of your credit card expenses while you’re away. Any credit card(s) left at home should also be noted to the company to call their attention in case any expenses were made while you are out of town.
- Don’t Lose Your Cell phone(s), Laptop, and any Gadget that Stores Your Personal Info – gadgets usually make our life easier as they can store facts that are sometimes hard to memorize. As the owner, we tend to keep our personal information stored in our gadgets for convenience. However, they easily become problems once they are stolen or lost. Strangers would easily scan our gadget and get our personal info. This is the reason why it’s very important not to lose any of our gadgets while we are on our trip. Aside from saving us from the hassle of looking for our stuff, preventing a lost or stolen gadget will give us the peace of mind while we are away.
- Don’t Bring Checks – if you have credit cards, then there’s no need to bring the checks around on your trip. Although they are quite handy at times, you don’t really need to carry them around with you. Checks can be easily stolen. Your signature can also be easily forged especially by people who’ve been stalking you for a long period of time. As much as possible, leave your check(s) at home. Debit and credit cards are more practical and convenient cards to bring along on trips. Aside from the fact that they are difficult to hack, they can also be kept on pockets which makes it more difficult for the thief to steal.
Protecting yourself against identity theft should be among your top concerns whenever you go out on a trip. Whether it’s abroad or locally, you should always prepare for the worst case scenario. Following the above-mentioned tips wouldn’t guarantee an identity theft-free travel. However, it can give you the peace of mind knowing that you’ve done your best in preventing a possible problem while you are away. Anything that you think will give away your personal information should be addressed. Aside from protecting you as a person, preventing identity theft will help you save serious money that can easily be stolen by a criminal.
You can do more than that to help to protect yourself from such cases. Find the right preventive measure that won’t leave you paranoid on your trip. You can find lots of great ways to protect yourself from identity theft when you leave your home. Make sure that they are doable though as some of them are not easy to carry out.