When travelling anywhere, no matter how far away from home your destination is, you should always remember to protect your identity. Keeping your home and valuables safe while you’re travelling is important, but learning how to avoid becoming an identity theft victim is vital.

Hold your mail while you’re away from home and stop any newspaper or magazine subscriptions that you may have. Thieves can easily open your mail and get the hint that you’re not home if they see your mail piling up. Personal information, such as your social insurance number, mortgage documents, paycheck stubs, and bank information should be filed away in a locked cabinet or drawer in your home. This information should also be carefully hidden.

Avoid announcing your travel plans away from home on any social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace. It’s an invitation for thieves to break into your home and steal your vulnerable identity. Tell your family and close friends about your vacation plans, but keep that information away from potential thieves.

ID Theft

Leave some forms of ID at home in a safe place, preferably in a locked safety box. You can always store your ID at your bank or credit union too. If your wallet is stolen or if your bags are lost, you will still have your most important pieces of ID stored safely at home. Remember to keep your wallet, passport, and laptop in the hotel safe instead of leaving them in your hotel room.

While you’re gone, avoid doing any online banking in public places, such as Internet cafes or hotel business centers. Certain places may be more secure, but it’s best not to use any unsecure or public Internet connections. Set aside time to pay your bills and manage your accounts online before you travel.

Use your credit card instead of cheques or debit cards. If your credit card is stolen, it’s more likely that you will be able to claim your losses with your credit card rather than your debit card. It’s a good idea to call your credit card and tell them that you’ll be travelling. Ensure that you keep your credit card with you at all times.

Be aware and take all of the necessary precautions to prevent your identity from being stolen when you’re away from home and on the road. You could always maintain a credit monitoring service, like Equifax to protect your identity while you travel the world.

6 Comments
  1. I can definitely use these pieces of advice as I might have to leave my country in a few months. I’ve also started asking for soft copies of some of my bills, which helps reduce clutter while lessening the chances of giving strangers my personal information. Many people travel for fun, but it’s no fun if someone steals your ID.

  2. These are all very helpful tips. Calling the credit card company in advance of the trip is a great idea. I will do that the next time.

    Keeping vacation plans and activities out of social media would be a challenge for many, and yet, we really should as you point out. If we can just have the patience to post the pictures after the trip!

    As for Internet, I always bring my own MiFi with me and/or use my phone. Although the free WiFi is tempting, I stick with my own to avoid those pitfalls that you mentioned.

    As for the mail, it seems to me that we are best off with a locked mailbox at all times. Even when we are at home, having a mailbox without a lock seems very risky.

  3. Yeah, there are definitely some helpful tips in this article. /I plan on making my first trip out of the country next year, so I can really use all the helpful information I can find. The tip about credit cards was especially helpful.

  4. I Have always said that Facebook and those family stickers (that tell exactly how many people live in your house and whether you have a dog) on the backs of cars are burglars best friends!

    I did not know that secure sleeves for passports existed. Thank you for that very useful bit of information. I think I will get one for my mother as a gift. She stresses so much about those sorts of things.

  5. Thank you for the tips. I had no idea that a credit card was more easily recoverable than a debit card. Is it insurance coverage?

    I have thankfully never had money or ID stolen when I’m traveling. I have accidentally lost my license out of state which was a pain to get back.

  6. I live in an apartment which means that I am excluded from having people finding out that mail is piling up because the mail arrives inside my home rather than on the outside. Larger packages are however delivered to a company near my home so I know that I’m always safe. That point is probably directed towards people living in a villa. I do however agree that it’s the best to stay on the safe side.
    While I’m away I also notify my neighbor whom I’ve known for a long time and he keeps watch so that no one robs me.

    Unsecured internet access can be solved by using VPN services most of the time because the VPN’s encrypt the data sent and received from and to your computer.

    Can’t stress how important security is though, thanks for writing.

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