OnPath Credit Union

4 ways to keep the bag secure this Mardi Gras

1. Don't leave belongings unattended 

One of the most important steps in preventing identity theft is perhaps also the simplest – don’t leave belongings containing sensitive information, such as a wallet, purse, tablet, diaper bag or smartphone unattended. Few would leave these items alone in a crowded public area, but many do so in familiar places they feel are safe. However, places that seem safe often are not, because anyone can quickly take your belongings and never be seen again. To keep your items close consider carrying a fanny pack, placing items in your front pockets, or even pockets with zippers, places that aren’t easily accessible for pocket pickers.


2. Leave unnecessary items out of your wallet 

Today, thieves that steal wallets often do not find much cash in them. However, they can still find some items of value, like credit, debit, ATM, and sometimes even Social Security cards. You can prevent identity theft by only putting the cards you truly need into your wallet. For example, you probably don’t need to carry more than one credit card – leave the others in a safe place at home. Unless you are applying for a passport or something similar, your Social Security card does not need to be in your wallet. Check your wallet for anything else that may have your Social Security number on it and leave it out if you can.


3. Use Password Protection on your mobile devices 

Typing in a password when accessing your cell phone is not new- you have probably done it hundreds of thousands of times. However, you should make sure your passwords are not easy to guess and are not easy to see by strangers standing near you.  Also make sure your Bluetooth is off when not in use and be cautious when connecting to public Wi-Fi because others may be able to see your data.


4. Keep a list 

Despite you best efforts, there is no guarantee that your belongings will never be lost or stolen. Keeping a list of your credit card, checking, and savings account numbers, along with the phone numbers of the financial institutions, will allow you to contact them quickly if something happens. But do remember to keep the list in a safe place to prevent it from being stolen.


We often do not think about theft until after we are the victims of it. However, by then, the damages have already been done. Taking the time to protect your belongings before anything happens is well worth the effort and makes for a fun and easy Mardi Gras.