Summer is humming along towards now, and there are still many of us who have yet to go on vacation. Planning a vacation involves varying levels of stress (depending on the planner) and properly preparing for travels can make a tremendous difference in how easy and carefree your vacation ends up being. One thing that slips past many travel plans is the concept of personal identity security. Nothing puts a damper on a vacation like finding out your bank or credit card account has been hacked. Here are a few things you can do to help defend yourself against fraud and identity theft the next time you are feeling the urge to heed the call of distant travels.
Take stock of what personal identification you will be needing for your journey. Same with debit or credit cards. Don’t take more of these than you need to. Bringing extra cards along means bringing extra opportunities for problems to arise through lost or stolen wallets and purses. Also, if you must use an ATM to withdraw cash from your account, try to use ATM machines at trusted financial locations. Avoid high traffic areas and tourist traps that can offer identity thieves the chance to use skimmers to steal your data.
Another good tip is to let your banks and credit card companies know that you’ll be travelling and where you will be travelling to. This can help you avoid potential hiccups with fraud alerts when your card is suddenly swiped in Europe when it was swiped at the local grocery store the day before you left.
One final word of advice when it comes to social media sharing. Everyone loves posting photos and tagging themselves (and their loved ones) on various social media platforms posing in front of national monuments or beautiful natural vistas. That’s great, but when you post the photos from the location you took them AND tag yourself in an immediate social media post, you are announcing to the world that you are currently away from home, and that any enterprising sticky fingered criminal would be able to see your home ripe for the taking. Save your tagging until you get home!