There’s one thing that most people never leave home without – their wallets.
But most consumers don’t give a second thought to the contents of their wallets and what they contain – even though the contents could set them up for identity theft.
Many people carry identification in their wallet, such as a driver’s license or other photo ID. The information contained on that card could give a thief enough information to set him firmly on course to steal your identity. While you can’t avoid carrying ID, you can guard it closely. Never leave your purse or wallet unattended, and make sure that you don’t carry more than what you need.
A lot of people carry their Social Security cards with them. This is a huge no-no. If a thief gets his hands on your Social Security card, you can say goodbye to your identity, and likely a lot of money as well. Don’t carry your card in your wallet. Instead, store it in a locked and safe location, such as a safe deposit box at the bank or a locked file cabinet at your home.
Another item people have begun carrying in their wallets is a piece of paper bearing their passwords. While we all have a lot on our minds, and it’s easy to forget passwords, carrying them around is a huge issue when it comes to identity theft. When a person writes down a password, he often writes down what the password is for as well. If a thief gets his hands on this information, you may as well stick a fork in it – it’s done.
You should also never carry a piece of paper with you that bears your PIN number. It’s obvious why this is a bad idea.
Remember: Only carry the items you must have each day – this includes leaving your credit cards at home and only taking the one or ones you need that day. If you’re not shopping, leave all but one at home.
By taking a few extra precautions, you can thwart identity theft – and make a potential identity thief one unhappy camper.