July typically spells the beginning of vacation season for most Americans. This year, be sure to add identity theft protection to your vacation checklist.
A survey released this week by the credit bureau Experian showed that almost one-third of travelers have experienced ID theft or know someone who has.
“The last thing people want is for their trip to fund an identity thief’s vacation,” said Becky Frost, senior manager of consumer education for Experian’s ProtectMyID.
Here are 10 ways to protect your identity while you travel:
“Make sure the Wi-Fi you are using at a hotel or restaurant is a dedicated Wi-Fi, not a public Wi-Fi, by asking a manager,” Frost said. “A secure connection requires a log-in like a room number or name.” Instead of using public Wi-Fi, consider getting a portable or travel router (which will cost between $20-$50) and a prepaid Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card to create your own personal Wi-Fi, Frost said.
8. Disable geotagging on all cameras and phones. Geotagging marks your location when you take a photo. If you post a photo that has been geotagged on social media, ID thieves can see you are not at home.
Take these measures, along with the sunblock, for a safe vacation.