July 19, 2013

Keeping Yourself & Family Safe: A Few Tips

Over the last few days I received an email from my father pertaining to precautionary tactics we all can employ to keep our personal identity safe. Actually, he simply re-sent this message to my husband and I, and, of course, I now wish I had taken the original email more seriously.

In addition, I have been perusing the internet pertaining to keeping your house safe in case of a home robbery.


1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put ‘PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the 'For' line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.

3. Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work
address. Also consider not having your name, address, and phone number listed.

4. Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks. Or, more importantly, never carry your card with you in your wallet! (Very glad, that I NEVER carry my SS card with me!)

5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel… Keep the photocopy in a safe place.

This was the most frustrating when waiting on the line… Of course when I want to make a purchase I practically know my CC numbers by heart, but when in a panic! Jeeze! Also, I only carry around minimal CC (credit cards), in general. I am contemplating not carrying them around at all, unless I know I’m making a big purchase. The fewer CCs that you need to have changed the better!


1. Invest in a home security system.

2. Avoid placing valuables near windows or in visible locations. Also invest in window treatments that conceal the inside of your home.

3. Excellent exterior is very vital, especially if your yard is dotted with dark and shrubbery areas. You need not spend a fortune on these lights. Efficient flood lights shall do the needful. Motion sensing lights are also quite popular as they trigger with the slightest motion. You may also heat sensing lights that turn on automatically when a human body is detected.

4. Shrubs and overgrown trees can prove to be an asset to the burglars. Assure that you prune overgrown and large trees. Moreover, you may also use landscaping as an advantage. Try to plant some thorny plants and shrubs with prickly leaves around your apartment as a natural barrier to deter the thieves.

5. Avoid storing your valuables in obvious hiding places such under your pillow and mattress or inside a cookie jar, etc. Better yet, buy a home safe for all valuables and important documents.

6. All the exterior wooden doors should be made of solid wood with at least 2 inches in thickness. Nothing can be better if you can install metal doors.

7. Doorknobs do not offer any reliable security. Install deadbolt lock in all the exterior doors. Also install peepholes in all the doors. I have been watching quite a bit of BGTV and saw a cute remodel in which they installed gorgeous glass doors… Although we were not considering a glass door- thinking that will nerve occur in any home of mine!

8. Make it a habit to lock windows, sliding glass doors and draw the curtains during the evening time and when you are going out.

9. When going out of town, put your mail on hold with the USPS. Also consider purchasing timers for your home lights to give the impression that you are home.

I have never been an extreme worrier, but I will now be going through all these precautionary steps and more. Hope you all decide to take a walk around your house, and employ some of the financial/identity precautionary methods too.


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