Protect Your Financial Information While Traveling

January 16, 2015

When you are making travel plans it is a good idea to think about how to keep your financial information safe while away from home. Whether you are simply going out of town for a weekend away or if you are traveling across the country for an extended stay with relatives, you need to think about how travel is going to impact the safety of your private information. There are several steps you can take to make your next vacation worry-free.

 

Alert Your Credit Card Company

Credit card companies will typically generate an alert if a card is used in an unfamiliar location. This is likely to result in the card being denied. Though this is a helpful form of fraud protection, it can only work to your advantage if you use it proactively. Simply call your credit card company the day before you intend to travel and let them know where you will be going. This will help protect the integrity of your credit card usage and will prevent any unfortunate misunderstandings if you use your card while away from home.

Leave Extra Items at Home

There is a good chance that you will not use all those credit cards while on vacation. Store-specific credit cards, retail membership cards, frequent buyer cards, and similar items can generally be left at home. This will free up valuable space in your wallet or purse. Clearing out these extra items accomplishes two very important things:

• Payment cards that could be exploited by thieves are left safe at home. Select only a few essential cards to take with you; the rest can be stored in a lock box or secure file cabinet at home.
• Any missing cards will be noticed that much sooner. When your purse or wallet is free from extra clutter you can see at a glance if something is missing. Thieves sometimes take only one or two items in order to avoid detection. You can resist this strategy by cleaning out your purse or personal bag before traveling.

Secure Your Personal Identification and Vital Papers

Personal vital papers, including social security card, should also be left at home unless they are required for traveling. Be aware that items such as a driver’s license or passport can cause even more damage to your personal security than a lost credit card. You should take steps to secure these items when they are not in use. A hotel safe is an excellent amenity to make use of while traveling.

Another easy way to enhance the security of these items is to carry a Stealth Card along with your important belongings. Many modern passports and driver’s licenses include RFID chips that carry a large amount of personal information. When presented to the appropriate scanner, the relevant information will be acknowledged. Thieves can use illegal scanners to activate the chips embedded in these items and capture the information for their own use. A Stealth Card will block this scan and prevent the download of your stolen information.

Increasing your personal safety while traveling is not a difficult undertaking though it will require some planning and proactive decision making. Before long these strategies will become part of your normal travel routine.