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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

10 Things People Do Unintentionally That Can Impact Their Safety

NEWARK, NJ - JULY 1: One of 109 newly-installe...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
People do a lot of things almost automatically that they often don't give a second thought to. Some things, however, can have a negative impact on your safety. For example:
  1. When you turn your car keys over to the shop or detailer, don't give them your whole key ring. They will end up with a key to your house AND your address from the registration in the glove box.
  2. When you move into a new place, always change the locks. It is exciting to get a new set of keys to your new place but the locks need to switched out ASAP because you don't know who else has copies of said house key.
  3. When you pick up your mail, don't leave it laying on your dashboard or on the counter in your kitchen. Mail such as bank statements and credit card bills can have personal information on them that is easy for others to steal.
  4. If you need to call your credit card company (or any other place that needs you to tell them your personal information) do so in private. I can't count how many times I have overheard people on their cell phones in public divulging personal information.
  5. Keep your private life private at work. It's fine to tell close friends about your latest drama but doing so at work can compromise your safety in a number of ways: clients can overhear you, a stalker can over hear you, co-workers can use details (like of your recent DUI) to torpedo you at work, etc.
  6. Keep your private life private online. I am not a fan of FaceBook and don't have a MySpace or FaceBook page because people share too much information on these sites which is then sent out to everyone on the planet. If I am going on vacation, I will tell my housekeeper and a responsible neighbor, but I won't tell the entire world I WILL BE OUT OF TOWN FROM JUNE 5 TO JUNE 17--that's just asking to be burglarized.
  7. Keep your windows and doors locked as a habit. I don't even think my grandparent's house had exterior door locks because no one back then locked their doors. These days, it is just a basic safety precaution to always keep your windows and doors locked to keep random criminals from coming into your home.
  8. Shred everything. Many people simply toss personal paperwork into the trash. A good detective or a bored dumpster diver can open up said trash bag and strike a personal info goldmine this way.
  9. Beware who you let into your home. If you are selling something on Craigslist, meet the person at a different location or in the garage instead of letting them wander through your home. Ditto for door to door sales people, repair people, etc.
  10. Beware of where you take your car. Cars can provide lots of information about your whereabouts via toll pass deductions, video surveillance cameras on the street, license plate readers, etc.