Keeping your personal information and data secure when you travel abroad is something that can have very dire consequences for you personally if you do not take proper precautions, but it is something that seems to be glanced over by a lot of international travelers. In order to keep everything safe and secure, it is necessary to take a few basic precautions, like having cyber security training, some of which should be taken even when traveling domestically.
Only carry copies of important information when you go out.
When you are vacationing or working in a foreign country, you are going to be out of your hotel room quite a bit. Placing important documents like your passport, driver’s license, visa, or other identifying documents in a room safe and carrying copies of them with you lets you still get the benefit of having ID, without the risk of theft or losing the originals which are needed for international travel.
Use cash when possible.
Taking the extra precaution of using cash when you can will reduce the number of people who have access to your credit or debit cards. Though the vast majority of people are very professional when handling customers’ cards, abroad, like at home, there are always going to be some people who may either skim your card through a reader or copy down the card information. When you are out of the country and your need to freeze your credit card or bank accounts due to fraud, you may end up getting stuck somewhere far away with very little money, as opposed to if you were at home.
Keep your money, credit cards, and passport in an inside pocket.
When you travel with important documents, credit cards, or cash, try to keep it all in a pocket that has no access from the outside. This will help deter pickpockets who may have easy access to a wallet or purse in a back pocket, or hanging from your shoulder. You may not even realize that you have been robbed until it is far too late to do anything about it. If you do not have an inside pocket, a front pocket will offer more protection than a back pocket. You can also purchase pouches that fit around your neck which can be worn inside of a shirt or jacket to prevent anyone but you from getting what is inside.
Have a list of credit card company and embassy/consulate numbers with you at all times.
Even the best precautions sometimes fail, leaving you to deal with the damage. Canceling or freezing your credit cards as soon as possible can mitigate a lot of the damage, especially if the card has not been used. Some credit card companies will even go out of their way for you to make sure that you can get home by manually allowing you to order plane tickets and putting the balance on your account for you. This way no fraudulent charges can go through, but you will not be stuck in a foreign country. Having the phone number for your embassy or consulate is also important because it allows you to get in touch with them quickly if you are in trouble or if something were to happen to your passport. They can usually handle document replacement relatively quickly, and they are there to assist you in any other way possible.