In our modern world, there are more threats to your online security than ever before. However, we need to remember that there are physical threats of identity theft out there in the real world, too. Pickpockets and purse-snatchers are exceptionally good at lifting items from your person without you finding out. With that in mind, here are the biggest things you need to leave out of your wallet or purse when you head out into the world.
Leave it at Home
Social Security Cards
The last thing you need is your wallet or purse getting grabbed. Losing your credit cards, cash, driver’s license and maybe even your phone can all be bad enough. However, if your social security card was in there, as well, then you’re looking at a serious threat to your identity online. With all the info on that card, as well as your driver’s license, a criminal can start opening lines of credit in your name and running up huge bills that they’ll expect you to pay.
Much like your social security card, your birth certificate can be used to create false identities that masquerade under your credit and your good name. A birth certificate has all the information required to falsify your identity and request a new Social Security card. If a criminal gets their hands on your birth certificate, there’s not a lot you can do: it’s the piece of paper that proves who you are.
When you’re out traveling, it’s important that you don’t carry your actual passport on you. Make a copy of your actual passport and throw the real thing in a safe in your hotel room. That way, if the copy gets stolen, no sweat: it was just a backup copy. The real passport, the one you need to travel, is safely stashed away in a lockbox back at your hotel. The same goes for your other important documents, like your driver’s license and your cash. Make copies of the documents you need, and leave cash and other important items in the room.