Keep Your Identity Safe While Traveling

The building excitement of a coming vacation is hard to beat. But adding a little peace of mind can make it even better. Travelers can be vulnerable to identity thieves, because scammers know you have a lot of key identification with you, possibly extra cash and you’re less likely to check on your accounts when you’re on the road. There’s also a very slim chance that you’ll ever run into them again. The good news is, there are steps you can take to protect your identity.

Contact your financial institutions. Let your bank and credit card companies know when and where you’ll be traveling. Many financial institutions offer some credit monitoring services and they’ll be on the lookout for charges coming from unexpected places or excessive charges.

Leave it at home. Weed through your wallet or purse and take out anything you don’t really need. Leave your social security card, extra credit cards, checkbook, savings passbook and medical documents at home. Try to travel lightly when it comes to carrying sensitive data.

Protect it on the road. The few documents you have to take with you, like your driver’s license and your passport, should be protected as much as possible. Use the hotel safe to store your valuables and documents until you need them.

Keep your card. How many times have you gotten the check for dinner and just handed your credit card to the server? This practice is not safe and travelers might be more vulnerable than locals because it’s assumed it’ll take longer for them to notice and they won’t be back. Rather than handing over your credit card, ask if you can pay at the host stand or pay in cash.

Protect your cell phone. Your phone is packed with information about you that can put you at risk for identity theft. Add some security measures, like setting a password on your phone. Consider deleting sensitive apps with personal data, like your banking and medical apps, before you travel. Then you can reinstall them when you return home. Be just as cautious with public Wi-Fi as you are with your computer. And remember, while we all want that great photo of ourselves in front of the Eiffel Tower, handing your phone over to a stranger is not a great idea, use an actual camera instead.

Change passwords and PINs. If someone gets a hold of your password or personal identification number (PIN) while you’re on vacation, you can thwart their identity theft plans by changing it when you get home. Or change it before you leave home, and change it back when you return.

Just adding these extra safety precautions to your pre-trip checklist will ease your mind and put relaxation at the top of your agenda. Now you can really kick back and make those memories that last a lifetime.

Travel safety.  Traveling to and from the airport safely should also be a priorty. So when you’re thinking about your next safe trip …THINKLimo.