‘The world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page’. This famous quote sums up the human thirst for travelling and exploring the world. While travelling used to cost a pretty penny not too long ago, with the advent of plastic money, travelling and Credit Cards have gone hand in hand.
Having a Credit Card in your wallet while travelling can be extremely helpful as it will take care of all your shopping, purchasing and bill paying needs. But travellers, be warned! Your Credit Card is most prone to theft when you are travelling.
While we are careful about our Debit Cards and Credit Cards in day-to-day life, many of us tend to let our guard down when we are travelling, making us easy targets for Credit Card thieves.
So, before you head off to your next vacation or business trip with your plastic soulmate by your side, here are a few things you can do to safeguard yourself against Credit Card theft while travelling:
1. Steer clear of unsecure internet connections: We live in a world of mobile phones and internet, where WiFi is considered as important as food and shelter. However, while travelling, it can be fairly difficult to find a secure WiFi connection, regardless of where you are.
However, you may have had an option to connect to an unsecured internet connection. During such occasions, it is probably a good idea to listen to your browser’s warning and steer clear from connections such as these since it can not only harm your device with malicious software, but it can also give hackers access to confidential Credit Card data.
Browsing using unsecured internet connections will make your sensitive data prone to cyber thieves. Apart from avoiding using unsecured connections, you also need to check the authenticity of the website that you are using so that you don’t fall prey to phishing.
Additional Reading: What To Do When Your Financial Data Is Stolen
2. Delete cookies and browsing history every time you use the internet: Ever since internet and mobile technology joined hands, people have become addicted to a variety of apps and websites.
Nowadays, most of us don’t even bother logging out of our social media or internet banking accounts on our phones, let alone clearing our cookies and browsing history. While being logged into various accounts 24X7 makes your data prone to theft if the phone falls in the wrong hands, not deleting cookies and history can also spell doom as far as your Credit Card security is concerned.
Many times, identity thieves get easy access to confidential Credit Card information by accessing your browsing history. So, irrespective of whether you browse the internet using your phone, or access your bank account at a cyber cafe, it is always advisable to delete your history and cookies once the browsing session is complete.
This way, even if you lose your mobile or laptop while travelling, your sensitive Credit Card information will never fall into wrong hands.
Additional Reading: When Not To Use A Credit Card
3. Be wary of public network connections: As soon as we hear the word free Wifi, our eyes light up and it is understandable considering the steep data charges that come along with internet provided by mobile service providers.
But when you are connecting your device to a public network, you are putting your confidential data at the risk of being hacked. Since public networks are easily accessible to one and all, and have a lower degree of firewall protection, a hacker can easily steal your Credit Card information by hacking your device.
So, the next time you come across free Wifi with a public network connection, think twice before you log into it.
Additional Reading: Mobile Banking Safety 101
4. Buy RFID blocked wallets to safeguard sensitive Credit Card information: As useful as technology may be, it can be used to do good or cause harm depending on who uses it.
Radio-Frequency Identification aka RFID is a form of technology that identity thieves are using to steal Credit Card details. By standing just a few feet away from you, hackers and thieves can read confidential information stored on your Credit Card through radio waves.
In order to prevent identity theft through such means, RFID blocking wallets have been introduced. These wallets safeguard your Credit Card details by blocking the radio waves used by hackers to steal information.
So, the next time you decide to buy a wallet, spend a little extra and opt for RFID blocking wallets.
Additional Reading: Identity Theft Might Get You Into Big Trouble
5. Set a spending alert every time your Credit Card expenditure crosses a certain amount: While you are travelling it is difficult to keep track of all the contents of your wallet, especially if you have multiple Credit Cards. Most times, people take days and even weeks to notice that one of their Credit Cards has been stolen.
Unfortunately, by that time, the damage is already done. The solution to this Credit Card theft problem is to set an alert every time your Credit Card expenditure crosses a predetermined limit. This will help you to get notified immediately if any suspicious activity has been detected.
Additional Reading: How To Avoid Getting Your Credit Card Hacked
6. Always keep your eyes on your Credit Card: Believe it or not, your Credit Card information can be stolen at places you least expect. Off late, there has been an increase in Credit Card details being stolen at restaurants and bars as waiters get easy access to your Credit Card information when you use your Credit Card to pay the bill.
Therefore, it is wise to always keep your eyes on your plastic soulmate to avoid falling prey to identity theft. When you are paying bills, ask the waiter to bring the card swipe machine to the table.
Additional Reading: How To Protect Your Credit Card From Physical Damage
7. Know your Credit Card theft helpline number by heart: Imagine this. You are out on vacation and suddenly you find your Credit Card missing from your wallet. During such situations, people usually panic and fear for the worst.
When you experience Credit Card theft, the quickest help you can get is by calling the Credit Card helpline number and notifying them about it.
So, before you take off for your next trip, memorise your Credit Card helpline number. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Additional Reading: Handy Helpline Numbers To Hotlist Your Credit Card
8. Monitor your Credit Card expenditure closely even after you reach home: While it is understandable that you need to keep a close eye on your Credit Card and Credit Card account when you are travelling, it is equally important that you continue to monitor it even after you are back from your trip.
Why? Because there are smart Credit Card thieves out there who steal your confidential information, but refrain from using it immediately. These kind of smart thieves target tourists and travellers, steal their Credit Card information and use it after a few days.
Thus they cause damage to your finances from a far off place at a time when you least expect it. So, it is always recommended to closely monitor your Credit Card expenses even after you have returned home so that you can spot any suspicious activity as soon as it takes place.
Additional Reading: Managing Credit Cards E-statements
Now that you know all about the dangers of Credit Card theft while travelling, we hope that our words of advice will help you be cautious against identity theft and help you enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Are you looking for a Credit Card with international validity? Well, we have all types of Credit Cards. Go ahead and find the one that best suits your needs.