What Shouldn’t Be In Your Wallet-Safety Tip Of The Week
“If your wallet was lost or stolen, would you know exactly what was in it? If not, you could be at huge risk for both credit card and identity theft.
If your social security card were in your wallet, you would be handing a thief an easy way to open new credit card accounts, and make costly purchases, in your name.
Have a government-issued photo ID, like a passport, in your wallet? You’re making it even easier for thieves to do damage to your good name.
To avoid future problems, now is a good time to take inventory of your wallet’s contents. And, while you’re doing that, take a minute to purge some key items and move them to a safe place.
Here are things you should consider removing:
1. Your Social Security card and anything with your Social Security number on it, which could include a Medicare card. While it may seem obvious this shouldn’t be in your wallet, if you haven’t looked recently, you may be surprised to find that your card is tucked away behind a rarely used library card or in a photo sleeve.
2. Spare house keys. If you keep a spare house key in your wallet, and you lose it along with anything that has your address on it, your home could be an easy target for burglars. This same concept applies to when you valet park your car. Do you give your house key to the valet along with your car key? If so, while you’re enjoying an evening out, your house key could be at the hardware store being copied. With your car’s registration and home address in the glove box you may have just opened the door for future problems.
3. Excess cash. While it may feel good to walk around with a full wallet, the easiest thing for a thief to use is cash. Limit the amount of cash you carry to what you think you’ll need while you’re out. Keep any extra cash securely locked away at home until you need it or, better yet, at the bank where it’s insured.
4. Multiple credit cards. Carry only the card or cards you really need each day. And make note of which one(s) you have with you. It’s bad enough to have one card stolen. But if you’re like many people who have up to seven cards in their wallet, imagine trying to remember what was in there and getting a hold of all the issuers to cancel those cards.
5. Gift cards. Unless you’re on the way to the store to redeem a gift card, there’s no reason for it to be in your wallet. Like cash, a gift card is easily redeemed and most places will accept it without any form of ID. Unless you get to the store before the thief with information that connects you to the gift card and let them know the card has been stolen, the chances of you getting that money back are virtually zero.
6. Password cheat sheet.On one hand it’s advisable to use a variety of passwords and change them often, on the other hand this makes them difficult to remember. Even so, if you choose to create a cheat sheet, never keep it in your wallet. When you give a thief your passwords, and they already have your complete name, address and possibly other personal information, you run the risk of having your online identity compromised.
7. Safety deposit box key. The only time you should carry your safety deposit box key with you is when you’re headed to the bank to access the vault. Once a thief has the key, other information in your wallet could lead them to your bank; for example, a bank issued credit card, ATM receipt or blank check. That, along with your driver’s license which may have your signature, could be enough for them to convince the vault manager that they’re you and gain access to the valuables you thought were safely locked up.
The bottom line? Only carry what you need and make copies of everything you might carry in your wallet. Put the copies in a safe place so, should your wallet be lost or stolen, you have a reference as to what was in there and can make the necessary calls to protect your personal identity and financial reputation.”
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The Home Security Superstore is one of the oldest and largest independent distributors of high quality home security, surveillance, spy, self-defense, survival and safety products. We carry a wide range of self-defense products including tasers, stun guns, pepper sprays and other nonlethal weapons that can save your life in the event of an attack.