While you travel, it is crucial to protect your privacy and thwart identity theft. Thieves often employ very sophisticated methods to attain their ends. Here are some tips that will help discourage both high-tech and low-tech crooks.
Burglaries and identity theft are two increasingly common problems that today’s traveler must take into consideration when planning a holiday. Here are some tips that will help protect your privacy and identity while you are away.
• Never post public announcements on social media indicating that you plan to be away from home. Instead, share information with close friends via personal messages.
• Do not place vacation photos online until you arrive home. If you are enthusiastic and can’t resist the urge, make sure that your default photo setting is for viewing by friends only. And here is a thought: Do you trust every single one of your online friends?
• Password protect all electronics you plan to take with you, including cellphone, tablet, laptop computer, etc. Not only will you protect yourself, but you will also shield any information you have saved for family and friends.
• Use a good pass code for your voice mail or answering machine. Never choose something like 1234 or 7890.
• Safeguard your camera or camcorder. It could contain photos that might compromise your hotel room, home, or family.
• Strictly monitor important documents like your passport, credit cards, and bank cards. Use the room or hotel safe to lock away anything you do not need to take with you on tours and outings. Use secure next-to-body travel pouches to carry necessary documents when you leave your accommodations.
• Try not to access the Internet unless you can use password-protected networks. When in public areas, be sure that prying eyes cannot monitor you while you sign in to online sites.
• If you need to use a public computer, and the browser has an InPrivate Browsing mode, activate it before surfing.
• On login screens, do not tick any boxes that ask to save your username and password.
• Avoid accessing online banking unless necessary, and be sure that the banking sites you use are secure (i.e., start with https – s meaning secure).
• Log out from all sites (rather than just close the browser window) and clear the browser cache before you leave.
• Monitor your bank and credit card accounts. If you notice any suspicious activity, alert the appropriate financial institutions.
• When you leave the hotel, store your laptop computer in the room safe or main hotel safe. At the very least, attach it securely to something in the room with an appropriate locking device plugged into your laptop’s lock port.
• And you will remember to password protect your computer, right?
Pay attention to these tips, and the chances of burglary or identity theft while you travel will be greatly reduced.