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Learn how you can avoid identity theft when travelling

Learn how you can avoid identity theft when travelling

Are you planning your next business trip abroad? You probably have numerous things to do.

March 5th, 2020

Are you planning your next business trip abroad? You probably have numerous things to do. One of the things that you should never forget is protecting your identity while travelling. Whether you plan to go on a road trip or fly, focusing on travel security can help you avoid identity thieves. Such people always look for ways to get hold of personal information.

Though modern technology has simplified our lives, identity theft is a common problem that is growing globally. Protecting yourself adequately, especially when travelling, should be a priority. Follow this guide on travel security and keep your identity safe.
Talk to your credit card company
Giving your financial institution a call before travelling can simplify your trip. You can inform them about where you intend to travel and for how long. Doing this can prevent your credit or debit card from being declined due to making transactions from an unfamiliar location. If you don’t get a response when you call them, you can fill in an online form detailing the basics of your intended trip.

Do not let your mail pile up

If you plan to be away for long, there is a likelihood of your mail piling up fast. These documents may include a lot of personal information that can make someone steal your identity. You can avoid this by pausing mail delivery before you start travelling. Ensure that you are using a secure mailbox which is not accessible to any strangers.
Minimize the stuff in your wallet
Before you start travelling, you should take some time to go through your wallet. Determine what you need to leave behind and what you should carry with you. Most wallets often contain checkbooks, medical documents, bank statements, and social security cards. Cleaning out your wallet can help you reduce the risk of losing credit cards as you travel.
During your journey, you should only carry a primary card and maybe one more that can act as backup. Ensure you leave your social security number behind since a lot of identity thieves target this card. If you cannot leave behind some of the documents, make sure you remove them from your wallet before going to a crowded location such as a big concert or nightclub.

Pay bills before you depart

As you plan on travelling abroad, you should not forget to settle your bills at home. Paying them before the trip can give you more peace of mind during your vacation. You will not have to worry about someone having access to your hotel room and getting hold of your personal information on your bills. Some people also tend to discard such documents on the trash, increasing the risk of identity theft. If you do this, ensure that you always shred them off to prevent anyone from getting hold of your personal details.
Make ATM transactions only at a local bank
A lot of travellers prefer using their credit or debit cards to carry out financial transactions. Rather than using your cards to pay for drinks at a bar or food at your favorite restaurant, carry some money to minimize the risk of identity theft. You can also promote secure travelling by using ATMs that are only connected to local banks.
These days, fraudsters are known to tamper with some ATMs to obtain bank details of individuals. Some install particular card readers that make it easy for them to access pins and card numbers of customers. This trend is prevalent in generic ATMs located in areas such as convenience stores or hotels. Since such regions have minimal oversight, you may not realize that your identity has been stolen. You can avoid this by sticking to ATMs at banks since they not highly targeted by identity thieves compared to the rest.

Guard documents at all times

As you travel, you should always protect all your documents to prevent yourself from identity theft. If, for instance, you leave a document on the surface of your hotel bed, someone might take a picture of it and use it to steal your identity. You can avoid this by keeping all crucial documents out of sight. Consider investing in a document protector for you to guard them properly.
Be careful when using a public computer
If you did not bring your laptop with you during the trip, you might be forced to use a public computer to send a crucial mail. Though public computers can help you in times of need, they can make you an easy target of identity theft. You can, however, boost security by deleting your browsing history and cookies on such computers before logging out.
A lot of computers cache a large amount of information while some of the sites keep you logged in even if you close the browser. Ensure you log off from any site so that you don’t have to worry about an identity thief getting hold of your data.

Secure your phone

Most of us focus so much on securing laptops during travelling that we forget about small gadgets such as phones. These devices are always logged in. They also contain a lot of apps that can give anyone access to your details. Most travellers often leave phones almost everywhere. If someone steals your smartphone, they can cause a lot of damage. Securing your smartphone is how to stay safe when travelling.
You can boost phone security by setting a strong password. This can deny anyone access to your data even if your phone is stolen. Before you start travelling, consider getting rid of any sensitive apps on your phone like social networks or banking apps. You can easily reinstall them when you get back home. Log out from most of the apps on the phone. Be wary of any suspicious-looking websites and emails so that you can avoid clicking on malware links on your phone. Keep your phone close to you every time and avoid leaving it on a table.

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.