Traveling gives you a break from all of the stress that you deal with at home. As a traveler, you have probably already taken steps to protect your safety. You might be carrying fewer credit cards and making sure to watch your bags. While these things are important, you also want to remember to take care of your personal information. Identify theft is rampant and discovering that your personal information has been compromised can quickly destroy your vacation or business trip plans.
These travel tips are essential to follow for keeping your identifying information safe.
Start by Using Secure Websites to Book Your Travel Plans
You can begin protecting your information before you even step out of your house. Make sure to use the official website of the company that you are making reservations with or trusted third party travel sites. Secure websites typically have “https” in the URL. You can also use special programs to scan for potentially risky websites. If a website doesn’t look for feel right, then double check the URL. Some malicious sites use very close URLs that might be hard to notice at first glance.
Stick to Password Protected Networks
Free access to public Wi-Fi is always nice when you are traveling and trying to conserve data usage. Yet, using these amenities can potentially expose your personal information to nefarious criminals. Always use password protected networks, such as those that might be offered by your hotel. You still need to be careful about what you do online, but these are less likely to be unsafe simply because they limit the amount of people who have access to it.
Use Caution With Public Computers
Libraries, business centers and other public places might offer computers that you can use in a pinch. Always be careful to log out of these computers when you are done so that the next person who walks up does not see your personal information. You should also avoid using public computers for serious business such as accessing your bank accounts if you can avoid it.
Use a Virtual Private Network
A VPN offers you additional security when you use using public Wi-Fi. It essentially creates a secure tunnel for your information to go through by encrypting it so that potential hackers cannot see it. This is essential when you are doing any type of communication online that involves your username, password or financial information.
Lock Up Your Devices
You might not want to bring your laptop or tablet with you everywhere you go. When you leave your hotel to go on an excursion, make sure to lock the devices that you leave behind in a safe. This is just added security that lets you be certain that no one who enters your room can check your device to get critical information.
Check Your Accounts for Suspicious Activity
With identity theft, prompt action is critical for reducing the damage that someone can do with your information. Make it a habit to check your accounts on a daily basis. Try to connect this with something that you do every day, such as having a cup of coffee, so that you do not forget.
You should be able to travel freely without worrying about criminal activity, but the truth is that you must be cautious about protecting your personal information. Giving some thought to how you conduct business online away from home helps you get back from vacation with all of your valuable information secure.