Nine Tips To Prevent Identity Theft On Vacation
It is estimated that 19 people become victims of identity theft every minute. This problem affects about five percent of the American population. Your chances of being a victim of identity theft are even greater when you are on vacation because you are in a new place surrounded by people you do not know. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. Below are some identity theft protection methods you can use while on vacation:
Sign Up for an Identity Theft Protection Service
There are numerous companies on the market that provide some of the best identity theft protection you will find. Companies such as IdentityGuard.com, LifeLock.com & Identity Lookout will keep track of your social security number, bank accounts and more and provide you with real time alerts if any fraudulent activity is discovered. This is especially important if you’re going to be out of the country or even out of your home state. I personally recommend Identity Guard as an excellent credit monitoring solution. The monthly cost is only $19.99 and you can try it free for 14 days.
Do Not Leave Important Documents In Your Car
Regardless of whether you will be renting a car or driving your own car, you will need to avoid leaving valuables inside of your car. This includes things such as your checkbooks, cash, mobile phone or vehicle documents. You should also avoid leaving your travel documents inside of your car.
Avoid Logging Into Your Personal Accounts
Public Wi-Fi is a gift and a curse. It is a gift because it allows us to access the Internet when we are not at home. However, public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure. In fact, a public Wi-Fi network may not have any cyber security. This means that if you share or view any information while using a public Wi-Fi network, then you could be exposing yourself to identity theft thieves.
In order to keep yourself secure while you are surfing the Internet using public Wi-Fi, you will need to avoid logging into your personal accounts, such as your bank account. It does not matter whether you are using your own personal laptop or the computer at the hotel. You could still be putting yourself at risk for identity theft if you log into your accounts. If you will be using your personal laptop while on vacation, then you will need to make sure your antivirus and anti-spyware system is up-to-date.
Keep Your Eye On Your Electronics
Laptops, tablets and smart phones help us stay connected, and they can also make life more convenient. However, these devices have sensitive information that can easily be used by identity theft thieves. That is why you will need to monitor your electronics at all times. It is best to leave these devices at home. However, if you must take one with you, then you should make sure you do not let it leave your sight.
Watch Out For Pickpockets
There are several things that you can do to deter potential pickpockets. For example, you can protect your possessions with a fanny pack or body travel pack. You should also try to avoid walking through large crowds. Additionally, you should avoid going through your wallet in public or fiddling in your wallet.
Be Mindful Of Your Surroundings
People who look like they are lost are often a target for thieves. You will need to be mindful of your surroundings. This does not mean that you should suspicious of every person that you met. However, you should pay close to the activities and people around you. It is also a good idea to travel with a friend because you are more likely to be a target if you travel alone.
Additionally, if need to go to the ATM, then you should make sure you go during the daytime hours in an area that is well-lit. You should also avoid using ATMs that are at convenience stores. These places are often crowded, and they may also have poor security.
Do Not Leave Important Documents In The Hotel
Your hotel is most likely the safest place that you can be while you are on vacation. However, there is no guarantee that an unwanted guest may not come into your hotel room. For this reason, it is a good idea to avoid leaving important documents in the hotel.
Do Not Announce Your Travel Plans
When many people go on vacation, they post on their social networking site. However, that is not a good idea. A potential thief could be looking at your social networking.
Remove Unnecessary Documents From Your Wallet
Before you leave for vacation, you should remove unnecessary documents from your wallet. For example, you probably will not need your library card while you are on vacation. You should only bring what you expect to use while you are on vacation.
Do Not Put Your Contact Information On Luggage
While putting your contact information on your luggage may seem like a good idea because it could get lost, this can make you a target for thieves. You should not put your full name or address on your luggage. You only need to put your phone number or last name on it.