Identity theft has become a common crime these days. It can actually happen anywhere, even if you don’t travel. A lot of identity thieves are now using high-tech equipment to steal identity of other people such as scanners or hacking databases to get hold of names, address, social security numbers, credit card numbers and other financial information.
Here is a list of some basic information that can help you protect your identity information from thieves:
1. Inform Your Banks
Do a bit of homework before boarding your flight, call up your banks and tell them that you’re going for a holiday and that it would be kind if they monitor your accounts.
2. PIN Based Credit Cards
Pin based credit cards are best for travel. The PIN saves you if your credit card is lost. Also avoid debit cards and checks as it is it easy to get money from your account from debit card instead of credit. While using your credit card, make sure to cover up when you’re entering your pin in the machine as someone might be watching over you.
3. Stop or Re-route Your Mail
One more thing which you need to do before leaving is to ask the mail company to stop your mail from coming to your post office while you’re gone. A thief might get hold of it and get important personal information from your mail including the fact that you are not going to be home for a while. Also mails contain important bank details such as account numbers, bank receipts etc which you don’t want to fall in the wrong hands. Or reroute your mail to a different address preferably to your relatives or close friends.
4. Empty Your Wallet
Only bring those things with you (that contain your personal information) on travel that are absolutely necessary. The less vulnerable stuff you bring on your tour, the less likely you are of getting your identity stolen. When you leave from your hotel, put only those things in your wallet which are important. If you have multiple credit cards, leave some of them at home and just carry one or two in your travels.
5. No Information on Your Baggage
Keep other signs on the baggage for you to remember that it’s yours instead of name and address tags. They might get stolen along with your name and address. Just keep a phone number if necessary, if it gets lost and falls in the right hands, they’ll call you up, if not, then a phone number won’t cause you much harm.
6. Don’t Post Important Information Online
It is a BAD idea to update your status on social networks with important personal information. You can just leave some basics just like instead of putting the whole address, you can just put just the name of the city instead.
7. Be Careful in Using ATMs
Be careful in using ATMs. There are not high tech equipment being installed by unscrupulous people on the machine to trace and copy information on your cards.
There are so many resources on how you could protect yourself from identity theft online. Make sure to keep yourself updated with current scams or theft cases so you’ll be familiar with how it operates and it will help you avoid it in the future anywhere you go.