Traveling can be a great way to unwind and enjoy time with your friends and family. Unfortunately, people that travel run a much higher risk of being victimized by identity theft. While identity theft can never be completely prevented, there are several tips that can be followed that will help to reduce the risk that identity thieves will victimize you.
One of the best ways that you can protect yourself from identity theft is by using cash as much as possible. Identity and credit card theft often happens when you use your card at restaurants, hotels, gas stations, and other stores. If you can limit the use of your credit card while you are away, it will greatly reduce the chance that someone could steal your information. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to either bring cash with you on your trip or to only use reputable and secure ATMs.
Avoid Unsecured Internet Use
While you are traveling, there will be plenty of places where you can use wireless internet. Unfortunately, many of these networks are not secure. This means that hackers could easily see you access your bank accounts and other secure records. To avoid this from happening, you should do your best to avoid accessing your accounts unless it is necessary and you are in a secure location.
Another way that you could protect yourself from identity theft is by purchasing a travel insurance or trip protection plan. While trip protection cannot stop someone from stealing your identity, these plans do have features that can help reduce the impact. Travel insurance policies often come with an identity theft protection pack that will provide you with services if your identity is stolen. If you have been victimized by identity theft, the insurance provider will be able to help you by freezing your accounts, putting up additional fraud protection on your credit, and following up with your financial institutions to have any fraudulent activity waived.
Make Plans to Secure Your Home
If you plan on being away for an extended period of time, it would be beneficial to make plans to protect your home while you are away. To provide yourself with the most protection, it would be a good idea to freeze your mail service until after you return home. This will prevent thieves from stealing your mail and personal information if they see a large accumulation of mail. You should also consider placing all laptops, personal financial documents, social security cards, and other vulnerable pieces of information into a safe while you are gone. This could help to reduce identity theft risk if your home is broken into.