Yes, believe it or not, you CAN get by in life with a wallet that just has a little cash, a store card or two, one to two credit cards and your ID.  Unless you absolutely need your insurance card or Social Security card, leave those items at home.

1DFor years now, wallets have been on the market that you can stuff everything into, save for the kitchen sink. This doesn’t mean you must carry a ridiculous bulging wallet everywhere you go.

Now you may not mind having to dig through your wallet for five minutes to retrieve things because there’s so much stuff in there, but do you know who actually would enjoy this?

A crook who specializes in identity theft. With just your Social Security card (come on already, just memorize the number), a crook could open up credit lines in your name and make your life a nightmare.

Now you may think it doesn’t matter because your wallet will never be lost or stolen. Everyone must lose their wallet at some point in their lives? But what if you’re in an accident? What if you’re jumped on the street? What if someone brazenly approaches you, grabs the wallet out of your hands and runs?

If my wallet is lost or stolen I won’t care because there’s nothing in my wallet that the thief could easily use to steal my identity, nor is there anything I couldn’t easily name or easily replace.

Keep the following items out of your wallet:

  • Anything with your Social Security number; again, just memorize it already.
  • Home address
  • Keys
  • PINs and passwords (if you need an assortment of these to function while away from home, use an encrypted app—assuming you have a smartphone).
  • Checks
  • Credit cards you won’t be using on any given day you’re out in the community (though one emergency credit card at all times is a smart move).
  • Birth certificate
  • Credit card receipts
  • Medical cards unless you are going to the doctor
  • Store cards unless you are going to that store

Make photo copies of all docs in your wallet and upload them to your secure email account. Consider an app like “Key Ring” and enter the cards into your mobile device. Put ALL your loyalty cards there and copies of most cards you might need in a pinch.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to TheBestCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention.

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