What is worse, losing your smart phone or your wallet? If someone found your wallet, could they hurt you? The money in your wallet isn’t the biggest loss that you could face. Is there any of your identity information in your wallet? Maybe a bank receipt or other receipts are in your wallet. I grew up in a time when it was ok to use your social security number publicly. My USAF military serial number was my social security number. Even my driver’s license used to be the same as my social security number. But not anymore!
People used to carry their social security card in their wallets. What could someone do with a social security number? It’s only used to collect social security, isn’t it? Most businesses and financial institutions identify you by your social security number. If someone knows your social security number, they could pose as you and sign you up for all kinds of financial surprises. Identity theft is big business. What if someone finds your cell phone? If your cell phone is a smart phone, an identity thief might be able to gather a lot more information about you. Have you ever used your smart phone to check your bank account? Do you keep any financial information logon information in your smart phone? Is your address book on your smart phone? What kind of information could an address book give an identity thief? A thief could use your address book to find more victims. Lately, it seems spammers are using email with a vengeance. My California brother’s computer was stolen from his local computer repair shop. This was an interesting story in itself. The thief has been using his email to send out spam and other malware emails. Cell phones are actually serving as electronic wallets in other parts of the world today. The US is slowly catching on with using cell phones to move funds at your bank. You can even text some high tech pizza shops to order and pay for your pizza. Planning for a problem and having a recovery plan can make your life a lot easier if tragedy strikes. Do you know what information is in your wallet and smart phone? Your wallet should only contain a few dollars, license, and critical credit cards. A smart phone might hold more information about you than you know. Do you regularly remove unnecessary information from your smart phone? A password can help secure your smart phone but it is not perfect. Some smart phones will erase the phone if an incorrect password is entered too many times. The best security strategy is to keep important information out of harm’s way.