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.
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.