Protect Your Identity While Travelling - 10 Tips
Have a vacation planned? If you're headed overseas here's some important information you should know before you leave that will help protect your identity while travelling. You're more likely to get pickpocketed if your European vacation includes a trip to Spain, SmarterTravel reports.
In fact, top pickpocketing locations include Barcelona, Spain; Rome, Italy; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; Athens, Greece; Prague, Czech Republic; Costa Brava, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Tenerife Spain and London, England.
Stay safe with these tips below and find more travel safety tips about identity theft protection as identity theft while travelling is a critical issue.
- Tell your credit card company and bank you're leaving the country
These days, many banks and credit card companies will shut off card access when you make charges in a foreign country. It's important to contact them ahead of time to let them know when and where you'll be traveling to ensure card access while away. This helps protect you in case a thief does steal your information, because charges that come in after your return can be denied. Credit card fraud and ATM fraud are common around the world. Banks can help protect your identity while travelling.
- Hold your mail (or ask a neighbor to get it) and put house lights on a timer
Thieves casing neighborhoods will notice a large stack of mail at your doorstep and mark your house as a target. Likewise, adding timed lights can make it seem as though homeowners go to work and come home each day. These basic steps will make it look as though everyone is at home and hopefully deter thieves.
- Avoid checking social media accounts
Sure, you're excited about your overseas trip and it's natural to share that excitement on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others. However, thieves can track your whereabouts and plan a strike.
- Store important documents and valuables in your room safe
This is one easy, effective way to protect important valuables while you are traveling.
- Be smart with valuables when relaxing at the hotel
It's fine to use the hotel pool, spa or gym. However, if you take wallet, smartphone or other important belongings with you, you may be putting your identity at risk. While vacationing it's easy to get distracted by taking in the scenery or sipping a frosted drink. Distractions could get the best of you and thieves could strike while your guard is down. Using a hotel's security facilities can help protect your identity while travelling.
- Only use bank ATMs
That corner store ATM may be closer to your hotel, but unfortunately many thieves are able to skim card information from unaffiliated ATMs. Walk the extra few blocks to a bank-owned ATM to stay safe.
- Don't leave anything in the car
If you're renting a car during your vacation, always take any personal items with you. That sweater and bag of gifts you left in the passenger seat while you went to lunch may lure a thief to break into the vehicle in search of more valuables.
- Use a "travel wallet" and discuss travel insurance with your travel advisor
You may keep several credit cards in your wallet, along with old receipts that have financial information. Weed out anything you don't need (and keep cards to a minimum) so a thief won't gain access to all of your financial accounts. Then, photocopy your license, credit card, bank card and other cards and leave a copy of everything with a friend or relative. Travel insurance should be investigated and appropriate action taken as explained by your travel advisor.
- Use public Wi-Fi sparingly
It's tempting to use free airport Wi-Fi to check email, but don't log on to your bank account or exchange personal details. Thieves can skim information exchanges on public Wi-Fi. Practice safe habits anytime you're using a public network.
- Stay "street smart" even in an unfamiliar location
Part of protecting your identity during travel is to remain vigilant about our surroundings at all times.
Author’s bio: Joseph Guerrero
Originally from Tuscon, Joseph has made it his life goal to travel and write about the farthest reaches of the globe.
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