You may feel like you are walking on a cloud while on vacation.
However, nothing can bring you down to Earth faster than finding an identity thief that attacks your credit while you are enjoying yourself.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 17.6 million Americans are victims of identity theft in 2014.
If you want to avoid other statistics, you need to take steps to protect your credit, especially when you travel.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep your identity safe, before and during your next vacation.
Here are five trips tips that will help protect your credit on the road.
# 1. Preparing Credit Report
Most people know how important it is to review your credit score regularly.
However, while you're on vacation, you may not remember to check your account due to unusual activity.
Monitoring credit reports can save you from coming home to find unpleasant surprises in your notes.
"Credit report warnings will benefit travelers as they will instantly know or approach immediately if a fraudulent account is opened on their behalf and can solve the problem quickly, versus knowing the problem once they return home from the trip," Harrine Freeman said. , financial expert and founder of HE Freeman Enterprises, a credit restoration company.
Credit reports notify consumers when fraud accounts are opened by using their social security, debit or credit card numbers or when suspicious activity occurs on their behalf.
Freeman recommends the use of major credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
He also advises consumers to sign up for an individual card mark to know when a balance is below a certain value or when a major purchase is made.
# 2. Use a Prepaid Card
Unlike credit or debit cards, prepaid cards do not link to personal information.
Therefore, using this card while on the move helps eliminate identity theft due to anonymous purchases, Freeman said.
Along with limiting your credit risk, prepaid cards are easier than cash.
As an added bonus, traveling with this card can help you avoid spending more than you want while on vacation.
"You can buy prepaid cards from local retailers like Target, CVS or grocery stores or buy prepaid cards online through major credit card companies like Visa, MasterCard and American Express," Freeman said.
# 3. Don't Lose and Give Out Anything That Identifies You, Including Your e-mail
Carrying things with you on the go, like your Social Security card, basically just asks for trouble. There's no reason to have it on you, says Glassberg.
Instead, he recommends to digitize your card and upload it to a secure email server, which you can access, if necessary.
Freeman said, "If you lose your AAA card, your loyalty card, your birth certificate or your passport, you can still be a victim of fraud, thieves do not always need SSN to cheat."
He explains that thieves have access to trace tools that allow them to find your birth date, address, phone number and Social Security number, and they may only need one piece of information to uncover the rest.
While you may need to travel with a passport, you should do your due diligence to protect this important item and other important things.
You can always use the RFID cover for credit cards. They even sell RFID passport sleeves.
Giving email on the go seems harmless, but you can actually be a target of phishing attacks, says Glassberg.
Phishing emails often have links to malware-infected websites.
If you need to provide an email address, consider giving your "junk mail" account.
"The better option here is to have multiple email accounts that you use," says Glassberg.
"Someone must be the junk email account you specify.This is what you use whenever you sign up for an online site or special offer, etc.
With your primary email and personal email, try not to publish it online or use it to sign up for things unless necessary. "
Glassberg also recommends having email solely for financial accounts. Keep this address private so as not to include your fiscal information - and credit - is at risk.
#4. Freeze Your Cards, If Will Not Be Used During Trips
Pack your wallet like your suitcase - very carefully.
According to Jason Glassberg, co-founder of Casaba Security, you must freeze credit and debit cards that you will not use before traveling.
"If you carry multiple cards with you, you increase the risk of overall account takeovers," he said.
"This will happen if you use multiple cards for in-store transactions or online while traveling, but even if you do not use them, there is always the possibility of them being lost or stolen."
By freezing the card you do not need, you reduce your risk of identity theft.
You can freeze what you do not want to use just by contacting your bank.
As a bonus, reducing the amount of plastic you carry serves to lighten your wallet for upcoming trips.
# 5. Do not Sign Into Financial Account From Public Wi-Fi Connection
Connecting to Wi-Fi may seem like a great way to save money with your phone bill, especially if there are different rates overseas.
However, the safest bet for your bottom line is using the telephone network while on the go, says Glassberg.
"It's less common for us to see run-of-the-mill criminals using mobile hacking tools - mostly stick with Wi-Fi hacking because it's much easier and cheaper to do so," he said.
"There's a lower possibility that a criminal will be sitting in Starbucks, airport terminal or hotel lobby with a modified femtocell (mobile spoofing tool) in their backpack than there they'll have a laptop equipped with a simple Wi-Fi eavesdropping tool."
To protect your privacy and personal information, turn off Wi-Fi settings in your phone and disable the option that allows connected phones to open Wi-Fi networks automatically.
To verify your Wi-Fi has been turned off, check the mobile icon - not Wi-Fi - at the top of your screen.