Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes and thieves are smart enough to use many advanced tactics to steal personal data and money by taking advantage of your carelessness while traveling abroad. As a traveler, you’re usually more focused on having fun, but it’s important that you know the different, unsuspecting ways that you can become a victim and how you can prevent it from happening to you.
Here are some simple but very helpful steps to follow on how to avoid becoming an ID theft victim while traveling abroad:
- 1. Keep your personal data updated and secured in a protected cloud service such as Snap Secure.
- 2. Use credit cards and traveler’s checks and try to avoid using debit cards. Keep credit card numbers and traveler’s check numbers in a safe place.
- 3. Never give out personal information on the phone.
- 4. Keep track of bank and credit card statements. If you’re not receiving them on a monthly basis or you see charges that shouldn’t be there, contact them immediately and request prompt action.
- 5. Do not put your wallet in your back pocket. Put your wallet in your front pocket or use a money pouch. If you must use a purse, carry it close to your body, holding the top closed and keep it on the front of your body.
- 6. Use secure wireless networks. The free Wi-Fi networks at cafes, hotel lobbies, and other public places are notoriously unsecured because they do not have the data-encryption protections that closed networks have.
- 7. Be smart and protect your phone with a home-screen-locking password. We often store a lot of data on our smartphones: text messages with personal information, emails, photos, and important travel information such as boarding passes and itineraries.
- 8. Use cash more frequently. When traveling, always keep cash and cards on hand. Use credit cards at airports, major chains, and shops that clearly use secure payment systems. Again, avoid using your debit card if you can.
- 9. While abroad, don’t use your passport as your primary identification. Lock up your passport in the hotel room safe and use a driver’s license or an international ID for places of admission.
- 10. Avoid being pickpocketed by being aware of your surroundings. Pickpocketers usually work in teams of 2′s or 3′s. One of them will bump into you or drop something in front of you or make a loud noise or do anything to cause a distraction. Once you have been distracted, the other pickpocketer will steal your valuables and walk away nonchalantly.
If somebody does manage to steal your identity, then you need to find out about it in the earliest stages possible so you can take immediate action before things get completely out of control. Keep in mind that there are many more preventive measures, these are just some of the most common and important tips you can apply to successfully prevent identity theft from happening to you. To completely protect yourself from any ID theft mishaps, identity theft protection is always available.
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