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Enda - Travel Safety Panel | WYSE Travel Confederation
Identity theft: Identity protection tips for travellers
WYSE News | May 23, 2024
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, except when it comes to identity theft.

Oscar Wilde once famously quipped, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” However, in the context of identity theft, imitation is no laughing matter.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Centre, incidences of identity theft have been on the rise since 2005, with a staggering 353 million victims compromised in 2023 alone.

The largest single event in the US was reported by T-Mobile, affecting 37 million people.

The consequences of such breaches can range from minor inconveniences, like changing website credentials, to more serious issues such as compromised health or financial information leading to financial fraud.

Combatting hacking and cybercrime requires collective action from all stakeholders. Legislators must enact stronger regulations and enforce penalties, while data processors and custodians need to enhance their security protocols. Entrepreneurs should develop innovative solutions to bolster password security.

Ultimately, individuals must take personal responsibility for their digital footprint and security. Surprisingly, the most common passwords globally are shockingly simple, such as “123456” and “Admin.” Even minor variations like adding an exclamation mark may not provide adequate protection against determined hackers.

Identity Protection Tips for Travelers:

Secure Password Practices

  • Avoid using the same password for multiple platforms when traveling internationally.
  • Ensure passwords are strong, unique, and difficult for hackers to guess.
  • Consider changing passwords regularly to maintain security.

Awareness of Scams and Fraudsters

  • Stay vigilant for scams and fraud attempts, especially when relocating to a new country.
  • Question unexpected requests for personal information, especially over the phone.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for more details if you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a request.

Active Account Monitoring

  • Regularly monitor bank and credit card statements, at least once every two weeks.
  • Be proactive in identifying any suspicious transactions, as financial identity theft is common.
  • Promptly report any fraudulent activity to your financial institution to mitigate further damage.

In conclusion, the implications of identity theft can range from a mild inconvenience, such as having to change a password, to the very serious where people have lost significant amounts of money.

As with all elements of travel, new countries will bring brilliant new experiences, but also expose us to circumstances we are not used to. So, keep your eyes open, both offline and online!

Enda Kelleher

Enda Kelleher

Sprintax Inc

Travel Safety Panel

Insurance companies and organisations operating in risk management, safeguarding, travel safety and child protection are represented by the Travel Safety Sector Panel. Nevertheless, safety concerns all aspects of the youth travel sector. For this reason, the Travel Safety Panel works closely with the Accommodation, Cultural Exchange and Study Abroad Sector Panels to improve sector-specific safety and security policies.
WYSE Travel Confederation Travel Safety Sector Panels