Summer is in full swing and everyone’s thinking of getting away. Whether you’re planning a road trip, a beach vacation, or a city break, you want to have fun and relax. But you also want to protect your identity from thieves who might try to ruin your trip.
Worrying about identity theft on vacation is no fun at all. And you’re not the only one who feels this way. A lot of people are concerned about identity theft when they travel. In fact, Google data shows that searches for “avoid id theft” go up during the summer months as more people look for ways to protect themselves from this nasty crime.
Tips for traveling safely
Here are some tips to help you keep your identity safe while you enjoy your summer adventure:
- Carry only essential documents. Leave your Social Insurance Number card, birth certificate, and other sensitive documents at home in a secure place. Only bring the ID and credit cards you need for your trip and make copies of them that you can keep in a secure location in case the ID and credit cards are lost or stolen.
- Keep your cards in sight. If a merchant wants to take your card elsewhere to complete your transaction, insist that you accompany them. If you let them take your card, thieves can use skimming devices to copy your card information and you won’t find out what happened until the damage is done.
- Secure your devices. Your smartphone, tablet, and laptop contain a lot of personal data that could be stolen if you lose them or leave them unattended. Make sure you lock your devices with a strong password or biometric authentication and enable any encryption and remote wipe features. Also make sure you back up your data before you travel, in case you need to restore it later.
- Be careful using public wifi and USB chargers. Public wifi networks and USB charging stations might seem convenient, but they can also expose your devices to hackers who can intercept your online activity or inject malware into your system. Avoid using public wifi for sensitive tasks like banking or shopping or, if you need to use public wifi, use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your data. And be sure to pack and use your own charger or a portable battery pack instead of plugging into a public outlet.
- Stay vigilant at all times. Identity thieves are always looking for opportunities to steal your information, especially when you’re on vacation in unfamiliar settings. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and don’t leave your belongings unattended in public places. Everyone wants to relax on vacation, but even a brief lapse in caution at the wrong time can ruin a vacation.
By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of identity theft and enjoy your summer travel with peace of mind. And remember, if you ever suspect that your identity has been compromised, you can count on us to help you restore it.
Remember to stay vigilant, stay informed, and stay safe.