Whether you are headed out of town for the day to visit a theme park, jumping on a plane for a quick business trip or packing for an extended vacation; you are vulnerable to identity theft.
Around 1 in 15 people were victims of identity theft in 2017, according to Identity Force. An identity theft happens every 2 seconds, so the sooner you are able to stop ID theft, the better. Take these tips into consideration when you travel so that you can prevent ID theft before you fall victim to it!
Secure Your Cell Phone
Lock your cellphone and make a unique password. Be distrustful of any suspicious emails or websites. Use your cellphone to check personal information like credit card statements.
Stay Away from Public Computers
Shared or insecure internet connections are a hot spot for identity theft. Choose what sites you visit carefully; avoid typing passwords or personal information. Never auto save any information. Always delete your history.
Leave Important Information Behind
Don’t carry sensitive information with you unless you absolutely need it. If you bring documents like your passport, Social Security card, bank statements, etc. on a trip with you, be sure to lock them in the hotel safe. If you are unsure that the hotel’s safe is a secured spot, then carry a money-belt with the documents. Take copies of these documents you bring in case any of the originals get stolen.
Criminals will try to catch you off-guard and send scams to your accounts. Investigate any suspicious email or website before jumping to conclusions and/or giving away personal information.
Although cash cannot be replaced if stolen, it is a way to protect your bank information. Avoid ATMs as much as possible. Try to use the ‘cash-back’ option at stores because criminals can hack information from ATMs.
When we travel, it is so easy to become caught up in the moments, and forget to protect ourselves. Each year, victims of ID theft lose about $20 billion in cash and valuables. Our personal electronic devices can be stolen or hacked, so be mindful of where you are and what you are accessing.