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Tips to help you avoid travel identity theft

July 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and the summer vacation season is when thieves are at their busiest. If you're planning on traveling this year, here are some suggestions on how you can avoid travel identity theft.

Before you even step out the door, don't broadcast your trip on Facebook or other social media websites.

"The challenge is with social networking, that's 500 of your nearest and dearest friends and you might not want all of them to know that you're not at home, that you're not checking your online accounts and that you're out spending a lot of money," said Jennifer Leuer of Experian's ProtectMyID.

Cash and credit cards are the best way to pay when on the road, but don't bring all of your cards and don't leave them lying around back home either.

"It's no longer the computer or the TV that's the most valuable piece of information that's in your house, it's really all that personal information that can be used for identity theft," said Leuer.

Nearly 60 percent of travelers use public Wi-Fi during their trip and that's a risk.

"When you're in public it's like having a megaphone on your computer letting everybody know what you're typing that's sitting in the public Wi-Fi section with you," said Leuer. "So you don't want to check your bank account information on there, you don't want to check an email where you have to actually input a password when you're on a public Wi-Fi network because everybody can see what you're doing."

More than 50 percent of travelers these days book their trips online. If you do that, make sure you're using a secure website. If you see any really good deals in an email or online, make sure to check them out first because they could be too good to be true.