As traveling picks up this summer, one step to add to your trip preparations is credit card security. While you should always be cautious about your credit card information, traveling, especially abroad, requires extra measures to maintain your security. Here are seven steps to keep your information safe:
- Travel light. In general, traveling light is always recommended, but this is especially true for your wallet. Keep important documentation and cards to a minimum. TribLive.com recommends bringing two credit cards and a debit card.
- Communication. Once you've selected which cards to bring, contact the issuers to inform them of your trip. This helps with their proactive fraud protection and to better assist you if something happens while you're away.
- Backups. Make a list of your credit card company's contact information. In case your wallet is stolen, this will help minimize the time between the theft and reporting it to your issuer. This may go without saying, but keep it in a safe place other than your wallet.
- Credit. If your financials allow it, TribLive.com suggests using a credit card over a debit card whenever possible. It is often easier to dispute charges on credit cards than debit cards and it won't hold up any of your money.
- ATMs. Be weary of odd-looking ATMs. Credit card skimmers attach to card readers and will capture your card information. If the reader feels loose or looks out of place, don't use it.
- WiFi. Wireless internet can be a huge benefit, especially when overseas, but don't trust them with your security. Using them for basic information is fine, but don't to any banking or credit card management while connected to a hot spot. The same goes for any public computer, like those in hotels.
- Chip and PIN. If you're in Europe, embedded chip cards are the norm. While some places still accept the old tech, others my refuse. Make sure all your cards are up to date.
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