7 Tips for Staying Safe while Traveling

More and more people store their personal information online, including date of birth, telephone number, credit card information and more. However, identity theft numbers continue to creep up. According to Experian, about 33 percent of this fraud took place when people were traveling. In spite of this, 64 percent of those polled said it’s too much of a hassle to constantly worry about securing their online information. However, once your information is out on the internet, you can’t grab it back. It’s true that we leave a digital footprint everywhere we go. So how do you keep your information safe when traveling? Here are a few tips.

cute family at airport1. Avoid using public WiFi 

Public WiFi makes it easy for thieves to hack into the information stored on your mobile phone or laptop. It’s easy to use the hotel or airport WiFi because it’s free. But if you are planning to check your online account statements or transactions, consider using a portable router and setting up your own WiFi hotspot. You’ll need a SIM data card which you can purchase at an electronic store or an airport kiosk.

2. Password-protect phones and add tracking tools

We recommend setting up a password to unlock your device, and making that a strong, unique password that you change regularly. Plus, enable location tracking and install a wiping app so you can track down your phone or destroy the data on it if it’s ever stolen.

3. Don’t post location or agenda on social media

Sharing your agenda or location on social media allows potential thieves to keep track of  where you are, making it easier for them to time a crime. Instead, wait to post about your trip until you get home.

4. Bring only what you need and lock it up when there

Only bring a passport with you if you’re traveling abroad, and avoid bringing
your Social Security card or birth certificate with you. Also, don’t bring all of your credit and debits cards; choose instead to carry only a select few. If you do bring sensitive documents with you on your trip, lock them in the hotel safe or other secure location.

5. Keep a record of important documents

If your wallet or any important documents do get stolen, it’s important to know exactly what’s missing. Before you go on your trip, write down all the information from your
credit and debit cards, driver’s license, medical insurance, etc. This will help you know who to call after a theft and have the details readily available.

6. Monitor credit cards and reports

Members 1st will assist with monitoring your Members 1st credit and debit cards if you set up Travel Notices, but you must also monitor your accounts and card usage from other financial institutions. So be prepared and have all of your banking apps ready to go on your smartphone.

7. Protect your home while you’re away

Before you leave for your trip, stop your mail delivery. An overflowing mailbox is a huge red flag for thieves. This will also ensure that important documents aren’t stolen from your mailbox, especially bills or tax statements. If you abide by these guidelines, you have a much better chance of avoiding security breaches and identity theft while traveling. Identity theft takes a long time to recover from, has a lasting negative impact that can last a lifetime, and it can happen to anyone.

Source: cnbc.com

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