This is a guest post by Angela Morgan.
Planning an international trip can be very exciting. It’s an opportunity to experience new cultures, see historic sites, eat delicious food and break the monotonous routine of daily life. However, if your identity gets stolen, a dream trip abroad can quickly turn into a nightmare. You will be less likely to have any problems on your travels.
Reach out to some identity theft protection agencies such as LifeLock or another company that provides adequate, trustworthy protection. These service providers are easy to find, but do the research to make sure they provide the kind of protection you need, so you will have one less thing to worry about while traveling.
Don’t Announce Travel Plans
Of course, you want a few key people to know where you are going and for how long, but leave it at that. The rest of your family and friends will be thrilled to hear about your trip upon your arrival. By announcing travel plans on social networks, you could be clueing in criminals that you are not going to be home. That leaves the door wide-open for them to break into your home and steal personal information.
Simplify Your Wallet
Most people carry way too many items in their wallet, especially while traveling. One of the easiest ways to provide your own identity protection is to limit the amount of susceptible items you carry while traveling. Items that you should remove from your wallet include your social security card, blank checks, credit cards that you do not use, spare keys and password cheat sheets that you might carry.
These items are a gold mine for someone looking to steal your identity. However, you do want to keep one or two credit cards on you while traveling abroad because if they do get stolen, you will be protected against fraudulent charges, ensuring you will have the funds to get home safely.
Leave Your Passport Locked Up
Of course, you are going to need your passport to get in and out of the country you are traveling to, but once you are at your desired location, secure your passport in the hotel lock box. It is a good idea to have a copy of it handy in case you run into any problems, but never carry the original, unless you are going to or from the airport.
Avoid Wi-Fi Hotspots
When you log onto a Wi-Fi hotspot, any information you are viewing on your computer can easily be hacked by someone who is on the same network. Internet providers suggest checking to ensure your Wi-Fi is password protected by using WPA2 (an encryption protocol) to ensure your information stays safe.
Keep Your Belongings Close
Anything that has your name and address on it can aid someone in stealing your identity. You should never leave any paperwork with this information on it in a rental car. As for your hotel room, simply hiding this information is not enough. You need to keep the information locked up at all times, no matter how unimportant it may seem. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
So now that you know what you need to do to have a worry-free vacation, make sure to share these tips with your friends and family so that they can be protected as well.
Angela Morgan Angela is a freelance journalist living in the Atlanta area. She holds a journalism degree and has been published in national newspapers and magazines.