Safeguarding your most important asset

How protected are you, your possessions and your identity when you’re on holiday?

A five minute segment of an evening programme got our Social Media and Content Executive, Giorgia Woods, thinking about how easy it could be for someone to steal our identities whilst we're away from our homes. Here she explains more...

Last week I was watching The One Show and amongst all the topics they talk about and somehow seamlessly segue into, they started discussing what people do to protect their homes and the valuables inside them whilst they’re on holiday.

Aside from (hopefully) locking all the doors and windows and setting your alarm if you have one, what else do you do? What about your possessions inside your home, do you hide your laptop under the bed or put your spare keys in the biscuit tin?

During the five minute segment The One Show instructed a former burglar, who now works with families to help them improve their home security, to try and burgle a family’s home whilst they were out. (Don’t worry they knew it was going to happen!)

During the planned raid the burglar was able to find a lot of the family’s prized possessions; from the spare car keys left clearly on the kitchen table, jewellery left in their original boxes in the bedroom and a laptop hidden in the underwear drawer. Even though these things weren’t very surprising as it only confirmed my thought that once burglars have broken in they are after material possessions,  the one thing that did surprise me happened next. The burglar headed to the family’s office and opened an unlocked filing cabinet that housed all of the family’s confidential and important documents. Inside was enough personal information to steal the entire family’s identities.

Has the thought of locking up/hiding not only your physical possessions but also your confidential papers ever crossed your mind? If you think about it now, where do you keep your bank statements, birth certificate or passport? Would someone be able to steal your identity? This is arguably more valuable than any physical possessions you may have in your home.  

Unsurprisingly I’ve been thinking about this since it aired and it got me wondering what can be done to prevent this type of thing from happening? Here are some suggestions that you may find useful: 

  • If you want to get rid of any confidential documents, buy and use a shredder and make sure to dispose of the contents regularly
  • Buy a high quality safe or a heavy duty security box and hide it (preferably not in your underwear drawer!)
  • Get creative with your hiding places – what about in the loft?
  • Buy and lock a filing cabinet and take the key with you

This very short segment of the show certainly got me thinking and now I hope has got you thinking too! Even though the summer holidays have come to an end, it may just be the beginning for others who have the luxury of going on holiday outside of term time, so these tips are worth remembering all year round and not just in the summer months. So please excuse me whilst I go separate and hide my personal data from clear view.

 

-Ends-

 

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