11 Things Never to Keep in Your Wallet ...

There's a few things that people should know never to keep in your wallet! Most women have a wallet that simply bulges with everything and anything. It isn’t however, for reasons of space or neatness that there are items to not keep in your wallet. Some of the stuff you carry around with you may leave you vulnerable to physical theft and identify theft! You need to keep personal information as safe as possible. Here are some things never to keep in your wallet:

1. Passwords and PINS

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Many people have a range of passwords for various websites, ATM cards and bank accounts, but they are definitely something to never keep in your wallet. Keeping your passwords or numbers in your wallet along with the corresponding cards is a recipe for disaster if you are targeted by a wallet thief. Passwords and PIN numbers can be enormously tricky to remember, especially if you have a large number of them, but it is a good idea to try and memorize them as best you can. Keep them written down only when necessary and away from your cards in a secure location, and encrypted if on a mobile device.

2. Social Security Card

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One of the most important things to not keep in your wallet is your social security card. Your social security number can be used for many violations of identity such as applying for credit cards or loans in your name . Your social security card may seem an innocuous card to have sitting happily in your wallet, but the theft of this item could lead to some serious identity theft, racking up debts in your name and affecting your credit. Anything that displays your social security number should be removed from your wallet, and if you need documentation that has your social security number on it, photocopy the document and make sure that the social security number is obscured.

3. Checks

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Checks, particularly blank checks are most definitely items to not keep in your wallet. Only carry your checkbook when absolutely necessary, and in a separate place to your cards bearing your signature. Stolen blank checks can be a route to misery as they can be used to remove money from your account. The numbers on your checks can also be used to transfer money from your account electronically as they correspond to your bank details. If a thief has your checkbook and a card with your signature, then they could steal substantial amounts before you know it! Leave your checkbook in a safe place and away from your wallet.

4. Spare Key

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Vitally, one of the most important things to not keep in your wallet is the spare key to your home. If your wallet holds any documents with your address on them, and your spare key is in your wallet, having the wallet stolen could cost you more than you would expect. If the thief uses the key to enter your home, you could lose personal possessions of great expense or sentimental value, so keys must never be kept in a wallet with address information. Even if you get to your home before the thief, it may be quite costly and inconvenient to have the locks changed. If you have a spare key, it would be best to leave it with a family member or trusted friend or neighbor so that you can gain access to your home should you accidentally lose or misplace your keys.

5. Passport

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Never keep your passport in your wallet. Your passport is the key to many different types of theft, such as travelling in your name, or opening bank accounts to name but a couple. While you may need your passport on occasions, keep it safe at all times and be aware of the whereabouts. Losing your passport can be disastrous, so passports are definitely one of the things not to keep in your wallet, especially when abroad. Keep it locked away safely at home and if you need to carry it around, be careful.

6. Birth Certificate

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If you need to carry your birth certificate to an appointment, make sure that you don’t keep it with other cards and documents on a long term basis. Use it for the purpose you need to, then take it home and put it safely away as soon as possible. One of the important things to not keep in your wallet is your birth certificate in conjunction with other forms of ID. This combination can be useful for thieves to assume your identity and make life a misery for you if your wallet is stolen.

7. Debit/Credit Cards

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Multiple credit cards are certainly one of the things to not carry in your wallet! If you have more than one credit card, try and carry just the essential cards around with you, as the more cards you have in your wallet, the more difficult and time-consuming it will be to cancel them if your wallet is stolen. You may want to carry them all in case you see the perfect purchase, but if you don’t need them every day, keep them safely at home with one in your wallet for emergencies or for when you just can’t resist that gift for a loved one. It is easier to cancel one card than three or four if your wallet is stolen.

8. Receipts

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We have to keep receipts for our taxes, but the place to store them should not be your wallet. Aside from the unsightly bulge of your wallet in your jacket or purse, a wallet stuffed full of receipts can be the perfect place to start for a wily thief. Even with most receipts missing certain information, the remaining details can still be used to search for your full details and give access to your bank account. Receipts are definitely items to not keep in your wallet. Make sure you clear out your wallet regularly, and remember to shred receipts you don’t need to keep.

9. Gift Cards

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In comparison, gift cards probably seem like they shouldn't be important, but they are. Just think about it, gift cards are like free money! They may not be the most important thing in your wallet, but they're important enough. The rule with gift cards is that they should only be kept in your wallet if you plan on using it that day. If you don't see yourself using the card, then just leave it home for the day.

10. Your Phone

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A lot of people now carry wallets that also have a spot for their cell phones. If your wallet gets stolen, so does your phone! There are a million reasons that it's bad for your cell phone shouldn't get stolen. I don't think there's a need for all of the reasons to be listed here. Your phone has a lot of important information in it and on top of that your phone is valuable.

11. Anything with Your Address on It

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There isn't anything specific to be put in this section, but you really shouldn't have anything that has your address on it. If someone steals your wallet and they have your address in there, what is to stop them from going to your house and robbing you? It's really important that there is no way for the thief to get your address!

These things to not keep in your wallet are designed to limit your exposure to identity theft and access to your address. Please do follow them. With this list of items not to carry in your wallet, you will feel a bit more secure when walking down the street. Are there items you always carry in your wallet? Please do comment if you know any other things you shouldn't carry in your wallet!

This article was written in collaboration with editor Lydia Sheehan.

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