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Protecting Personal Information as a Female Traveller

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 7 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Identity Theft Hotels Hotel Reservation

Identity theft is a very real threat these days, and while you are travelling you can be at increased risk because not only are you carrying more pieces of personal information than you normally would but you often have to show this information to a number of different people. From travel agents to immigration officers to clerks in airports and hotels, a whole chain of people can see your personal information before your trip even begins. The next time you travel, protect your personal information by booking over a secure server, travelling with minimal electronics, limiting information attached to your luggage and bringing printed copies of all of your travel confirmations.

Booking Over a Secure Server

There’s no way to know who might be interested in identity theft, so cutting down on the number of people who deal with your personal information is a smart way to lower your risk. A great way to limit the number of people who encounter your personal and identification details when you travel is to book everything you can, from your flights to your hotel reservations to your car rental reservations, over a secure Internet connection. This cuts out unnecessary middlemen and limits the amount of paperwork that can be sent back and forth bearing the details of your identity and/or finances.

Travelling With Minimal Electronics

Personal electronics are a fact of life these days, but each item represents a threat to your identity when you travel. Not only do some immigration officers have the right to search the electronics that you travel with, but one misplaced item may mean your personal information is wide open to whoever finds it. If you must travel with electronics, bring only those that are truly necessary, password protect everything you can, bring all of these items in your carry on luggage and store these items in a safe, locked place. Also remember to only use your electronics over a secure Internet connection while you are travelling.

Limiting Information Attached to Luggage

Luggage must be identified, there is no way around that, but if it’s possible try to avoid listing your full name, address and phone number on your luggage. This information can be seen by anyone with access to your bags and is usually unnecessary. At the very least invest in name tags that have covers or slip a larger poster with your details inside your luggage in case it gets lost. Instead of tags, tying a recognisable ribbon or using a brightly coloured or patterned decal are all great ways to make your bag identifiable without sharing your personal details with the world.

Bringing Printed Confirmations

When you book transportation and accommodation for your trip you should be provided with printed confirmation of your booking. Use these confirmations to avoid repeating your personal information over and over while you travel. Not only are some clerks more efficient when working with documents generated by their own systems but it will mean that no one other than the representative helping you will hear or see your details. If you do need to discuss something, ask that you move to a more private area and keep your voice low to avoid any eavesdroppers.

Protecting your personal information is important to avoiding identity theft while you travel. If you ever feel that your details have been compromised, don’t be afraid to act quickly to intervene and keep yourself safe.

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