The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: Disturbing Facts About Identity Theft & How Travelers Can Protect Themselves

Friday, August 9, 2013

Disturbing Facts About Identity Theft & How Travelers Can Protect Themselves

Since I travel a lot, I am always worried about my identity being stolen. In May when I was in Europe, I actually had to have my American Express card cancelled because someone was trying to make a charge that was not authorized by me. I had to go back and forth through email and, ultimately, they ended up closing my account. I do not even know how this happened because I had used the card just once in London. Luckily, I had a MasterCard and was able to use that for the remainder of the trip.

Security expert Darren Guccione, CEO and Co-Founder of Keeper, the world's most downloaded password management and security software, has put together several tips for avoiding identity theft while traveling, with a mixture of both online and offline best practices for domestic and international travelers to safeguard themselves from vulnerability.


Keeper's Top Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft While Traveling

1)  When traveling, or when on any public or shared computer,  ALWAYS make sure you are fully logged out of any site you are accessing.  This doesn't mean simply closing the window you are using, but log out...fully!


2)  Don't alert the world (or your thousands of Facebook friends or Twitter followers) that you'll be traveling and away from home for any given amount of time.  You never know who might gain access to that information and an empty house is a target for Identity thieves to get your information.

3)  Use a highly secure Password manager, like Keeper, you can store your passwords under one master password with military grade encryption, and random passwords will be automatically generated for you making it much more difficult for hackers to get your personal information.  Make sure your Master Password is totally unique, i.e. not used in any other application or website.

4)  Generate long, complex passwords and then auto-fill the password using a Browser extension tool from your password manager and you never need to remember it.  You can then log into your password manager and securely access all your personal and private sites from one place and from any computer with a browser.
5)  Turn on Two-Factor Authentication on any of your providers that support it.  If the site or service doesn't support Two Factor, change your password every few months and make them random.
6) Always make sure you are at a "real" web site address.  Look for the "https:" and the lock icon, which indicates a secure connection.
7)  Be careful where you use your credit card when traveling to foreign countries.  You might find upon your return home that you were overcharged for items or charged for items you never bought.  You are safer making credit charges not debit charges or use good old fashioned Traveler's checks.

8)  Always keep your wallet, passport, plane tickets, and other important documents somewhere especially safe like in a money belt around your waist when traveling.  Don't keep it in your luggage 
or a back pocket, where it could get lost or stolen.

9)   Better to be safe than sorry.  If there is a safe in your hotel room, use it.  It's hard to know how many hotel workers have access to your room and it would be easy to swipe or copy your passport, drivers license, etc.  


Regarding online tip numbers 3, 4, 5 & 6, Keeper is perfect for travelers because it offers a convenient, powerful and secure solution for storing and retrieving passwords and private information through integrated mobile, desktop and web-based security software and works across all major operating systems platforms to support Smartphones, Tablets, PCs and Web Browsers. 



Disclosure: This information was provided to me by SparkPR. No compensation was given. I just wanted to post this travel info because it is important to be aware.

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