If you are toting your wallet or purse with you it may be a good idea to leave a few items at home instead of on your person. These items pose serious threats to your identity if they are lost or stolen so when you are shopping this holiday season (or going out at all), leave these items home:
1. Social Security Card: Your social security card is one of the most important pieces of information you have. The best place to keep your social security card is in a lock box at the bank. However, if that is not available to you you should keep your social security card in a lock box or filing cabinet at home. Never keep your social on your person. If your wallet or purse is ever lost or stolen, your identity could be gone with it.
2. Cash: You can pay for virtually anything with a credit or debit card these days. You should never carry more cash than you are comfortable with losing. Really, there is no need to carry more than $50 in cash for your everyday expenses or minor emergencies. Only carry large amounts of cash when you know you’ll need it.
3. Credit cards: To minimize the threat of identity theft if you were to lose your wallet or have it stolen you should only carry two or fewer credit cards. My grandmother, for instance, only carries her credit card when she knows she’ll be needing it. Usually you’ll want to carry a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard) in case of an emergency though.
4. Checks: There are not many people that use checks in the store anymore, especially because they are processed just like a debit card. Checks contain a large amount of personal information on them and can be dangerous to carry everywhere, not to mention they are a hassle to use.
Non-Money Items You Shouldn’t Carry in Your Purse
In addition to the above monetary and personally identifying items you shouldn’t carry with you, there are also some other items you shouldn’t carry everywhere (just in case).
1. Keys: You may not want to keep your keys in your purse or wallet. If your purse is snatched you will no longer have the keys to your home or car. Don’t load your keys down with keychains and keep them in your pocket or on an elastic bracelet. You can also just hold your keys in your hand. Additionally, you should always have a spare key with a close friend or family member in case you lose your copy.
2. Flash drive/USB drive/Thumb drive: People tend to use these to back up or transport their most important data. You’re better off keeping crucial information deep in a front pocket or on a string around your neck. That hook on the end of your USB drive is there for a reason.
With the holiday season in full swing you’ll be heading out to the store more often but don’t make the mistake of having these items lost or stolen. Many of them could really damage your credit and other areas of your life. Go clean out that purse and wallet and keep yourself safe this shopping season!