Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tips to Prevent Identity Theft When Traveling

You already have enough to worry about when traveling.

You have to make sure that everything you need is packed and that your reservations are confirmed. But when traveling you need to take extra precaution to protect your identity. The reason why is because foreigners tend to make easy targets for identity thieves.

Here are tips to minimize the risk of identity theft when you travel.

1. Keep All Sensitive Documents at Home
If you are traveling for vacation, you only need to bring your passport and identification card. Everything else including your social security card, checkbook, bank statements, and other sensitive documents can be left at home. Never leave any personal documents lying around in your room.

If you need to bring any of these, put them in your hotel safe to keep them secure.

2. Beware of Public Computers
Public computers are convenient to look up local information or print itineraries but most have insecure Internet connections. One mistake that travelers make is using public computers to access their online banking accounts without logging out. The risk also applies to checking email or logging into other sites.

The best approach is to avoid logging into your online accounts, personal email, and even your social media accounts if at all possible. There are services that help to prevent identity theft by keeping connections and data secure.

3. Use Bank ATMs
One of the most common types of identity theft involves the use of a skimming device that copies information from the magnetic strip on your credit card. Identity thieves typically install these devices in generic looking ATMs which can be found in convenience stores or even in hotels. If you need to pull out money, use only ATM machines that are found inside a local bank.

An identity thief who has access to your debit card can essentially empty your bank account. Only use credit cards to make purchases as credit card companies now offer protection against fraudulent activity. A better option is use cash whenever possible for purchases you make.

This will help to reduce your risk of identity theft next time you travel.

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