Identity Theft While You Travel – Explained

Traveling – whether it’s for business or pleasure – can be an exciting venture for most people. Of course, there is a bit of ‘work’ to be done in terms of arranging tickets, making hotel bookings and so on but mostly, it can be an enriching experience, unless you find yourself the unfortunate victim of identity theft.

So along with every other arrangement you’re making for traveling, you should also file away some information on identity theft while you travel.

Using public networks

Airports, hotels and other spots around the world have free Wi-Fi to offer. It can be very tempting to use this facility and browse the net, download stuff and even conduct various financial transactions. But it is good to remember that most of these public or open networks do not have world-class encryption.

So you are leaving yourself vulnerable to malware that can ferret away your personal information. Unsecured networks can help thieves get into your:

  • Digital wallets.
  • Laptops.
  • Smart phones.
  • Wearables.
  • Tablets and so on.

Take a look at what you are carrying

You may need your passport and other travel documents for your trip. But clean out your wallet or handbag of any other documents that you simply don’t need when you are out of town. It is also a good idea to clear all your bills – utilities, cell phone and so on before you start your journey. Trying to pay them while you are outside somewhere could force to you access a potentially unsafe network too.

Use professional protection

Services such as LifeLock: are aimed at protecting you everywhere. Whether it is a cybercrime or a physical crime – where someone has picked your pocket or your bag and stolen your cards and money and documents – this kind of professional protection can save you from a lot of mental stress. Since they have monthly services, you can easily avail a robust plan for a short period if your worry is identity theft only during travel. However, it is a good idea to get coverage for your identity even when you are back home!

It can happen anywhere

Identity theft during travel can happen anywhere. Even if you are staying in a reputed hotel, you should be aware that information regarding your credit card can be elicited from you by someone posing as a hotel employee. Your smart phone or laptop should be guarded diligently. Do not leave your devices unattended even for a moment. If you must step away from your laptop then shut it down and ensure that it cannot be accessed without a password that you have created.

Use social media carefully

The temptation to post all information and photographs about your holiday is immense. But do use social media with care. Cybercriminals can pick up a lot of information on your travel and stalk you, physically, to then get hold of your documents at a place they know is either crowded or isolated. So, as you are posting that lovely selfie of yours on social media, you could fall victim to identity theft as you travel.