Going On Vacation? 5 Tips To Avoid Identity Theft
When you think about going on vacation, you think about having fun and relaxing. You plan to leave the stresses of your everyday life behind and embark on a wonderful adventure that will allow you to experience new things and make brand new memories that will last a lifetime. However, as you do this, you will settle into a routine and eventually let your guard down. Since you will be traveling, you will have sensitive documents with you – personal and financial ones – that could leave you vulnerable to identity theft if you aren't careful. Here are five tips to help you avoid having your identity stolen while traveling:
Tip #1: Inform Your Financial Institutions of Your Plans.
It is a good idea that you let you credit card issuers as well as your bank know that you are heading out of town. Give them the dates and locations of where you are headed and a phone number where they can reach you in case there is any suspicious activity that occurs.
Tip #2: Put Your Mail on Hold.
If you plan on being gone more than a day or two, you should contact your local Post Office and put your mail on hold so it doesn't pile up in the mailbox. This is a sure sign to burglars that no one is home.
Tip #3: Put a Password on Your Phone.
You never know when you will lose your phone, so you should make sure it is password protected. In addition, you should install an application on it that will help you find it in the event that it is stolen or you lose it. For instance, Find My iPhone (for Apple devices) and Android Device Manager (for Android devices).
Tip #4: Make Copies of Important Documents.
In the event that you do have your documents stolen, you want to make sure that the process of replacement is a speedy one. To ensure this is the case, prior to leaving for your vacation, make copies of your driver's licenses, passports, credit cards, etc. You can leave a copy with a family member or trusted friend as well as in another piece of luggage other than your purse.
Tip #5: Try to Only use Bank ATMs.
While you are vacationing, if you need to get cash out of an ATM, you should be careful which ones you use. The best ATMs to utilize are the ones attached to banks. These tend to offer better security than stand-alone ATM machines.
With the aforementioned tips, you will hopefully be able to better enjoy your vacation without having to constantly worry about someone stealing your identity. If interested, you may want to talk to your insurance agent, such as from Great Lakes Public Adjusting, about identity theft insurance that could provide reimbursement to victims of identity theft.