"Whether you are traveling for business or going on a family vacation, being away from home increases your exposure to identity theft. Identity thieves are known to target unsuspecting tourists and even savvy business travelers," said Intersections EVP, Consumer Solutions, Steve Schwartz. "They also bank on the fact that many travelers are focused more on their itinerary than on their identity exposure."
"Identity theft can ruin your travel plans so invest some time in some basic safe data practices," said ITAC President Anne Wallace. "But if the worst does happen, be prepared to immediately contact your financial services company who can help you take steps to limit any fraudulent activity." We developed these tips to remind fellow travelers that we all need to take a few simple precautionary measures to protect our identities.
Intersections and ITAC recommend the following safety tips for travelers:
1. Protect your home from burglars and identity thieves before you leave. Have your mail collected or held at the Post Office, ideally have someone visit and turn lights on and off, and do not leave financial documents lying in plain view. 2. If you need to access your email from cyber cafe or other establishment, limit your access, avoid entering any passwords to your personal financial accounts, and be sure to log off when you are finished with your session. 3. Try to avoid "tweeting" or blogging about your travel plans or talking about them on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Thieves may use this information to target empty homes. 4. Protect yourself from key loggers, hackers, spammers, and botnets by installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your laptop computer. 5. If browsing the Internet with a wireless connection, do not assume public "hot spots" are secure. Ensure you are using encryption to scramble communications over a network. 6. If you're staying at a hotel or motel and receive a call from the reception desk asking that you confirm a credit card number, tell them you'll provide the information at the front desk instead. The call could easily be a random one from outside the hotel. 7. Bring as few credit cards as possible and ideally carry just one with you and keep a backup card in the hotel safe. Bring a copy of the emergency contact numbers for your credit cards and bank accounts in case they're lost or stolen. 8. It is recommended that travelers do not use their debit cards while on vacation to further protect their checking accounts. 9. When withdrawing money from an ATM, be cautious, and be protective of your PIN. 10. Beware of pickpockets--remove all documentation and cards from your wallet or purse that you don't need during your travels and 11. Use cash or travelers checks wherever possible to minimize the risk of credit card fraud or overcharging (this can also help avoid costly exchange fees if you're traveling abroad). 12. Make a photocopy of the cards and documents in your wallet or purse, including credit and ATM cards, store cards, drivers' licenses, etc. Leave the copy with someone you trust so if your wallet or purse is stolen, you'll know what to cancel. Or enroll in a card registry program that has your card information on file. 13. If you're leaving for an extended period consider using a credit and public monitoring service that alerts you to potentially suspicious activity. About Intersections
Intersections Inc. (Nasdaq: INTX) is a leading global provider of consumer and corporate identity risk management services. Its premier identity theft, privacy, and consumer solutions are designed to provide high-value opportunities to its marketing partners, including leading financial institutions, Fortune 100 corporations, and other businesses. Intersections also markets full identity theft protection solutions under its brand, IDENTITY GUARD (www.identityguard.com). Intersections' consumer identity theft protection services have protected more than 30 million consumers.
For advice, opinions, and the latest news on identity theft for consumers, visit http://www.IDGuardian.com. Twitter handle: IDGuardian.
ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center (www.identitytheftassistance.org), is the national advocate for identity theft prevention and recovery, and a leading voice on identity policy. The ITAC victim assistance service, which is supported by member financial services companies, has helped tens of thousands of victims recover from identity theft. Millions of consumers have access to the ITAC victim assistance service through our members. ITAC is dedicated to protecting all consumers through education, research, and the criminal prosecution of identity crime. Through our partnership with Intersections Inc. (www.intersections.com/), ITAC's world-class victim assistance and identity management service is available to everyone through ITAC Sentinel (www.itacsentinel.com/). Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and on the ITAC blog (www.itacidentityblog.com/)