Identity fraud is continuing to be a growing security problem for those who travel, even if you are a conscientious vacationer who has always purchased travel insurance. Some travel insurance plans offer the identity theft benefit for added peace of mind. As much as you try to keep your finances safe, sometimes it's necessary to take other precautions to ensure that you can kick back, relax and enjoy your destination.
It's always important to protect your identity, but this is even more crucial when you are in an unfamiliar place. While you are on vacation, make sure that you keep all of these ideas in mind to avoid identity fraud.
Protect Your Identity While Traveling
Have the post office hold your mail
Nothing screams "I'm out of town" than a mailbox stuffed with envelopes. Even worse, this is an easy way for thieves to get access to account numbers and other personal information that could destroy your credit. While you are away, either have a responsible neighbor gather your mail for you or have the post office temporarily stop your delivery until you return.
Make necessary payments before you leave
If you have a deadline for a student loan, car payment or utilities, be sure that all of it is taken care of before you head to the airport. Not only is this better for budgeting purposes, but you won't be having to plug in personal information – like bank account numbers – while you are in another city.
Inform credit card companies and your bank of your travels
Letting your banking professionals know what countries you will be traveling through can help them match dates, location and purchases. This may seem a bit intrusive, but it is an excellent way for them to track fraud while you are away.
Be mindful of technological devices
It's perfectly fine to use your laptop or smartphone while you travel – in fact, some people rely on these apps and programs for their trip. However, be careful about password protection for your phone and computer. Many of these devices come equipped with programs that require a pin-like sign-in screen, so you know you will be safe from identity fraud. You should also be cautious about using free Wi-Fi, as this is also an easy place for online thieves to get access to your account. If you are using such spaces, don't linger for too long or consider paying for a more secure connection.
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