Guest Post by Meghan Keane: Meghan received her degree in international communication and now studies abroad any chance she gets. Most recently, she visited Tokyo.
Studying abroad is supposed to be a fun and culturally enlightening time for students. It is a time when a student can explore a new land and learn about people they never knew existed before. However, students also take the risk of having their identities stolen while studying abroad. Here are five ways that students can protect themselves from identity theft while studying abroad.
1. Add Identity Theft to Your Insurance Plan
Some insurance companies have made this protection available to homeowners as part of their home policy. If your insurance company does not have this kind of protection you will need to look for another ID protection service such as LifeLock. They can actively monitor your information and notify you if something looks wrong.
2. Guard Your Smartphone
Identity thieves have figured out that they can steal your identity simply by stealing your Smartphone. If you think about it the Smartphone carries some of your personal information in it. All an identity thief would need is access to your birthday and address to start buying things in your name. Passwords protect your Smartphone with a complicated series of letters and numbers to keep people from accessing your personal information.
3. Don’t Use An Unsecure Wi-Fi
You should know that unprotected Wi-Fi is an open door for someone to spy on your computer. All they have to do is have the right kind of software in order to steal your data. Invest in a mobile internet band that you can use with your computer. It is like taking your internet with you wherever you go.
4. Secure Your Credit Card
In 2011, there were over 11 million people in the United States that had their identities stolen. Avoid being the next victim and don’t enter your credit card information on a public computer. Public computers can be a place where someone is just waiting to capture your information.
5. Be Aware
Be aware of people looking over your shoulder. Identity thieves like to watch people writing out their information. They are just waiting for someone to make their information visible. To keep someone from memorizing your information keep one hand over what you are writing.
What Can I Do if I Am a Victim?
If you are already a victim you will want to contact the credit monitoring services and have them place a credit watch on your profile. Once the watch is in place no one can open a credit account without your approval. Next you will want to call all your credit card companies and alert them to the problem. Follow these tips and you should have nothing to worry about whe