So you are back on the road. Feels nice to get away from it all doesn’t it? You’ve got your suitcase and you’re traveling, either for business or pleasure. Either way, most times when we travel, we are ready for the open road. However, there is a danger to traveling. Identity theft is rampant, especially to those who travel.
Criminals like to hit when least expected and a vacation or business trip is the perfect opportunity. There are many ways that a criminal can gain access to your identity while you are on the road, so it is important that you protect yourself. Below are a few tips on how to prevent identity theft and maintain your identity while traveling.
It is very important to travel light, and by light, I do not mean luggage. It is important to stay light on the paperwork. It is important to keep several items at home, including: Checkbook, Bank account paperwork, Social security card, Birth certificate and Security passwords. These are just a few items that should be left at home. If you must carry any of these items, they should be kept in a very safe place. It is best to carry cash on hand or traveler’s checks and debit cards to avoid losing your checkbook. Also any of the other paperwork items can lead to you losing all of your money as well as your complete identity.
Use Secure Internet Connections
It is also important to remember to use secure internet connections while traveling. Too many times, a traveler will use an internet connection at a hotel, restaurant or other hot spot and then get home only to find out that their bank account has been drained. These public access computers may use hardware keyloggers to capture users’ keystrokes.
It is very important that travelers make sure they are operating on a secure line only. Keep personal information to yourself if possible. Pay bills online before you leave home. Be sure to check the connection fully before using to understand the full security precautions being taken.
Secure Your Wallet/Purse
One easy way for your identity to be stolen is with your wallet or purse. A criminal can simply slip your wallet from your back pocket without you looking. A purse can be taken from the floor under your table out of a restaurant without you ever knowing. It is essential that you know where your wallet/purse is at all times. Keep the item securely at your side so you do not lose the essentials it contains such as your ID, money and credit cards.
It is always essential to remember Safety First. The Safe in your hotel room is your best friend. The safe is a secure area in which you can place your valuables, such as extra cash, credit cards, etc.
Most safes require a unique passkey or code to enter, so you can feel safe leaving your items in the safe while you are away. This is a great way to empty your pockets to keep from having all of your money on hand when traveling.
Travel Document Backups
Another trick to traveling safely is to backup your travel documents. Be sure to photocopy all travel documents such as plane tickets, reservations at your hotel and passports. You can keep the photocopies separate from the originals so you still have your information in a safe place if the copy becomes lost or stolen.