We all know someone who’s had this done to them, so there’s no point hiding behind the ‘it’s not going to happen to me’ bus, and start taking precautionary steps to avoid identity theft, especially while travelling.
1. Pay bills before you leave
While we all rejoice over free public WiFi, paying bills or transferring money isn’t something you should really do while overseas. Talk to your banks before you go and try to set up automatic transfers.
2. Put a hold on your mail deliveries
Neighbours could collect your mail, but that’s if you’re living on Sesame Street. Instead, get your post office to take hold of your letters (and pesky bills) whilst you’re away in case there are undesirables stalking your home post box.
3. Purchase identity theft protection services
Something that would come in handy if you’re travelling often (hello, that’s all of us, isn’t it?). Identity theft protection may seem like another bill to pay, but it may pay off if you have the misfortune to be victim to a scam artist.
4. Use strong passwords
So the saying goes, don’t pick your birthday, your mum’s maiden name or something that’s quite so easy to guess – but how many of us actually follow this sound advice? Make sure to pick passwords that are 8 characters long (minimum) and contain letters, numbers, even symbols where possible.
5. Only take what you need
While we all know we don’t need the kitchen sink, we surely also don’t need half a dozen credit cards and the rest of what makes up the bulk of our wallets. Leave what you don’t need, safely at home.
6. Keep important numbers separate
Who knows their partners number? Like most of us, if you don’t, be sure to keep these details (a business card or on paper) in a location that’s not your wallet.
7. Advise your credit card company
Be sure to call your credit card company and bank to let them know you’ll be soaking the sun in some fantastic destination – not to brag, but to make sure they are more diligent with tracking your unusual spending on cocktails.
Have you been victim of identity theft while abroad – or at home?
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