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After you’ve booked your transportation and hotel, what should you do to prevent your dream vacation from turning into a nightmare for your credit and your identity?

I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute

Here are some tips to keep identity thieves at bay while you’re away.

  • Have a trusted family member or neighbor collect your mail every day.
  • Put your newspaper delivery service on hold.
  •  Set your lights on a timer so your home looks lived in.
  • Safely store all documents containing your sensitive information.
  • Tell your financial institutions and credit card companies when you’re leaving, where you’re going and when you’re coming home so they won’t stop your cards but will be on the alert for charges and withdrawals in places where you’re not supposed to be.
  • Make copies of your driver’s license and passport then download them onto a password protected, encrypted thumb drive which you carry with you, so that if they – along with your money – are lost or stolen, you’ll be able to authenticate yourself to the US Embassy, local authorities or Western Union.
  • Don’t share your itinerary with everyone in your social networking universe. Stalkers and burglars simply don’t need to know where you will and won’t be.

I’m Adam Levin. Come visit us at Credit.com and take control of your credit.

An audio version of this story was originally broadcast as part of The Credit Minute series on the Wall Street Journal Radio Network. Listen to it and more here.