After months or even years of planning, you are finally going on the vacation of your dreams. In a few short weeks, you will head off on the perfect trip, leaving all of your cares and concerns behind.
Well, most of them.
In a perfect world, being on vacation should mean total relaxation and freedom from stress and worry. Sadly, this carefree travel attitude can lead to becoming a victim of identity theft. Fortunately, by keeping the following tips in mind, you can still have the wonderful vacation you need and deserve and avoid having your identity stolen:
Get a Smartphone with Extra Security
One easy way to avoid being a victim of identity theft while traveling is to purchase a phone with extra security features built right in. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S7 from retailers like T-Mobile includes Samsung Knox, the company’s defense-grade security platform. Chances are good that you’ll be using your smartphone quite a bit while you are away — from checking emails to posting on social media. Samsung Knox can help keep your phone safe and secure.
Leave as Much Personal Info as You Can at Home
Getting ready to go on vacation involves so much packing, it might be hard to fathom that you should also un-pack some of your stuff before leaving. But as Independent Traveler notes, go through your purse or wallet and clear out all unessential documents, ID, credit cards that you won’t be using, checkbooks and more. Then, when you get to the hotel, leave any important paperwork like your passport, extra credit cards and travel itineraries in the hotel safe or on a money belt that you wear close to your body. The less you have on you, the less pickpockets can nab and use to steal your identity.
Only Use ATMs Inside Banks
As Consumer Reports notes, identity thieves are notorious for placing credit card skimmers inside ATM machines. Since you will probably be going to ATMs throughout your trip for extra cash, choose your locations wisely. Whenever you can, use ATMs that are inside a bank lobby, or choose one that is monitored by a security camera. Avoid airport ATMs or those located inside gas stations, shopping malls or in kiosks.
Delete Banking Apps & Other Sensitive Info from Your Devices
Even if you normally do not use a passcode to get into your smartphone, set one up while you are on vacation; that way, if you lose it or it’s stolen, it will be hard for someone to access all of the personal info you have stored there. Speaking of which, while you are unpacking your credit cards and checkbook, go through your phone and tablet and log out of all of your apps and consider temporarily deleting some of them. Yes, it’s handy to check your bank balance while on vacation but you can do that in person at the bank ATM, and if your phone falls into the wrong hands, you will be protected.
Be Careful Where You Check Facebook and Emails
When you are on vacation, it can be tricky to find a secure internet connection. Most hotels, airports and restaurants offer public connections, which usually come with the ominous “this connection is unsecured” warning. If you have to use an unsecure connection, be very careful about what you choose to do on your phone, tablet or laptop. If you are in a place that has free Wi-Fi, try to only use websites that start with HTTPS instead of the less secure HTTP.
Article Submitted By Community Writer