Online identity theft and holidays? The two probably has as much in common as Siti Nurhaliza and Hollywood action movies. In fact we are quite sure that you are aware of the threat of identity theft by the mere fact that you have an online presence, be from having a Facebook account, shopping online or performing your banking transactions over the Internet. But did you know that the risks you face for your identity to be stolen can be higher when you are travelling?
Identity theft in Malaysia is not a new problem. In fact it’s safe to say that it’s been there since the dawn of the digital age in this country. With hackers and cyber criminals getting more sophisticated however, it is not surprising that identity theft has become such a problem that over RM4 million was stolen from Malaysians through identity theft in the first three months of 2011 alone.
We are quite sure that this coming Hari Raya break, many of you would be travelling out of the city towards your hometowns while others may take the opportunity of the long leave to go abroad for a holiday. Before you pack your bags and start dreaming of rendang, ketupat or that rejuvenating beach holiday, do take some time to read and put the safety tips below into practice.
Have an identity safe Raya and holiday everyone!
DON’T ANNOUNCE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
This invites identity thieves to target your house while you’re away. Also avoid using applications that transmit your location on Social Media.
WHILE STAYING AT A HOTEL, lock important documents such as your passport in a hotel safe & use a known PIN # but NOT the same as your credit cards.
PLACE A HOLD ON YOUR SNAIL MAIL.
When criminals see an overflowing mailbox, they see an easy way to steal personal information. Most neighbours will help clear your mailbox.
PROTECT YOUR SMARTPHONE.
Create a password for access, and use an application with a GPS locator to find your phone if it is lost or stolen. Also ensure you have an Erase ALL Data option as ON.
CARRY ONLY NECESSITIES IN YOUR WALLET WHEN TRAVELING.
Go through your wallet and leave at home your library card and other cards with your name on them. Some cards are country specific and do not need to travel.
USE ONLY ATMS LOCATED IN BANKS.
The cash dispensers in remote locations are not you best place to insert the card or the PIN.
on your credit card accounts, and freeze your credit with few calls.
DON’T PUT YOUR NAME & ADDRESS ON LUGGAGE TAGS.
Include just your last name and a mobile phone number.
LEAVE YOUR LAPTOP AT HOME IF YOU CAN.
DISCARD USED BOARDING PASSES.
Travellers leave boarding passes behind in airplanes or hotels, they often contain full names and other personal information.