Safeguard Yourself From Identity Theft While You Travel This Summer

25% of American adults have experienced identity theft. Make sure you're not next!

By The LifeMinute Team

May 11, 2016

This summer, the experts recommend some simple ways to safeguard your home, wallet and phone to avoid identity theft.

According to financial expert Jean Chatzky, the sharing economy has been terrific for our wallets. "We can rent a place to stay through Airbnb and maybe save some money on a hotel or we can rent our place out when we're on the road and make money that way. Sites like Uber can help us because we can just hire a ride. We don't need to rent an entire car."

At the same time, though, the more we share the more vulnerable we may be to identity theft. Research from LifeLock shows that a quarter of American adults have already been victimized by identity thefts. Avoid becoming the next victim by taking some precautions both before you leave home and while you're on the road.

Lock Down Your Home

"Make sure that you're not leaving identifying details and pieces of paper around for people to see; 40% of people feel comfortable having a workman in their house while they're not there, which may not be the best idea," suggests Chatzky. Also, cancel the newspaper, mail and deliveries.

By the same token, another 40% of people say they regularly snoop when they're in other people's houses! "We recommend storing your opened mail instead of leaving all those credit card bills on the counter. That information shouldn't fall into anybody's hands but yours."

Lock Down Your Wallet

Before you leave home on vacation you want to slim down your wallet. There is no need to take every credit card and piece of identifying information with you. Take only what you're going to use. Put the rest in a safe or a safe deposit box so that it will be there when you get home.

Lock Down Your Phone

While you're on the road be similarly careful. "About a quarter of all people tell us they've left things like a cell phone or a wallet in an Uber, in a taxi cab. Make sure that your phone is both password protected and that you can shut it down from a remote location in case this happens to you,"says the expert.

And as for all of those photos that you are going to take on your vacation, they are great, but #latergram. Take the photos now, share the photos when you get home. The more you're out and about on social media the more vulnerable you are to identity theft.

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