The following is an article taken from MSN Money on Sat, 24 Nov 2012 by Gabrielle Brassard-Lecours I think it is a phenomenal reminder as we embark on a new year to remember some simple things like this.
1. Credit cards
If you have several credit cards (not what I would recommend), don’t put them all in your wallet — leave a few at home. This way, if your wallet gets lost or stolen you’ll still have the other cards. You can also make copies — front and back — to leave at home, so you’ll have the numbers handy if they go missing. (Make sure you also have the phone number to call in the event that they are stolen or lost)
Do you ever keep a pair of earrings in the zipped pocket of your wallet for the evening or take them off and put them in there before exercising? If you do, remember to take them out when you get home. Otherwise, you might forget about them and only realize where you left your wedding ring after losing your wallet …
3. A cellphone with no security code
Nowadays, you can do everything with a cellphone, from paying bills to sending emails and keeping track of personal spending. It is essential to protect your phone with a security code. If it gets stolen, the thief won’t have open access to every aspect of your life.
4. Your passport
A passport is the best thing for thieves to get their hands on, especially for identity theft. That’s why it’s a bad idea to keep it in your wallet as a piece of ID. Use your health card or your driver’s licence instead. And if you’re travelling, it’s especially important keep your passport separate from your wallet. Leave it at the hotel and leave photocopies at home.
5. Your social insurance card
If a thief gets a hold of your social insurance number, they are liable to open accounts, take out mortgages or get loans under your name. It is best to leave your social insurance card at home, in a safe place, and memorize the number instead. (This is the next best thing for a thief and I would recommend that you put it in a container, fill it with water and stick it at the back of the freezer)
6. Too much cash
It’s easy to carry more cash than you need, especially if you’re trying to limit credit and debit card use. But if your wallet disappears, you’ll be less upset to lose $15 than $200
7. Gift cards
We often keep gift cards in our wallets in case we’re ever in a store where we can use them. It’s not a bad idea, but if your wallet gets stolen, gift cards are the first thing crooks use because no ID is necessary to use them. It’s better to leave them at home until you decide to use them. (Especially now that they do not expire)
8. Cheques and cheque books
A blank cheque is a gold mine for thieves. They can write any amount they want, and they have access to personal information like your full name and address right on the cheque. If you need to use a blank cheque, take it out of your cheque book and keep it with you. Also, you should write the name of the person or the company on the cheque, even if you don’t know the exact amount. (And if you are going to carry one cheque all the time, just write your mother’s name on it, cross it off and initial it when the time comes to use the cheque)
We all keep receipts in our wallets. But it’s a good idea to clean it out once in a while because receipts often have more information than they should, like your signature or banking information. If you want to return an item, get a refund or keep a receipt for a warranty, you should keep those receipts somewhere else than in your wallet.
10. Usernames and passwords
Whether it’s your social insurance number, your on-line bank account or your Apple ID, don’t keep them in your wallet. Numbers jotted down on the back of a business card are the first thing thieves look for. (The same can be said for post-it notes around the monitor at work )