Working as a healthcare traveler can be one of the best ways to see the country – you get to stay in one city for at least 13 weeks and you get paid to do so!
But traveling from place to place can leave you more vulnerable to identity theft.
Read below for 11 tips on how to keep your identity secure while working as a healthcare traveler.
- If you’ll be leaving your home or apartment unattended, you leave it more vulnerable to a break in – and the theft of important documents. If possible, see if you can get a friend or family member to house sit for you while away. At the least, ask a friend to check on the house at least once or twice a week and alert you if someone has broken in.
- If you use a smartphone, laptop or tablet in a public place while traveling, pay close attention to your surroundings. Check for people who appear to be looking at your screen or fingers as you type, or for anyone who’s near enough to take note of sensitive passwords. In addition, understand that public wireless connections are as secure as possible before logging on and, if you have any doubt, forgo checking e-mail, Facebook, banking and other personal/financial sites.
- This goes for your assignment apartment, as well. If the apartment offers free WiFi, check with the complex’s management/landlord about online security measures.
- Protect your smartphone as if your life depends on it (your identity certainly does). Many people place highly sensitive/personal information on their phones such as passwords and so on. Consider getting a passcode for your phone and also activate any data deleting/wiping features that may be useful. Look for wiping services that can be turned on remotely, in case your phone is stolen or lost.
- Never use a public computer for anything that involves a password, paying bills, checking finances, etc. Just. Don’t!
- Avoid saying you’ll be away from home on your social media sites. In addition, turn off any “show them your location” apps on smartphones. Don’t post updates such as “just found a terrific new restaurant in Dallas,” when you live in San Diego.
- Make sure you ask the post office to stop your home mail delivery service. If you forget, ask a friend to check your mail daily at or near the time mail is delivered while you go online to stop mail delivery.
- Never take your social security card with you as you travel. You don’t need it. In addition, leave ID-type cards you’re not going to use such as your local library card, etc.
- Don’t use your debit card at the convenience ATMs located in stores, etc. Use those ATMs only located at banks.
- Don’t put your full name and address on luggage tags. Place only your first or just your last name and your phone number.
- Before leaving, let your bank know that you’ll be using your debit/credit card in a different city for several weeks. Give your bank the name of the city/region as well as a time frame. This lets the bank know you’ll be using your cards in the city and won’t flag your account as possibly being used fraudulently.