Looking after your belongings outside of the home

Guest post

The risk of theft, loss or damage to items we take out the home remains a threat in our fast and furious lifestyles. If they’re not at home, lying about, we carry them in wide range of places such as cars, trains, workplaces, gyms or restaurants.

So how can we help keep items safer when they’re foot loose and fancy free? Never taking them out would be a little drastic. Likewise, hauling a heavy iron safe around would be impractical. An idea might be to adopt a few safer practices when we’re out and about.

Mobiles should be not too mobile

As their name suggests mobile phones should be mobile – but not so mobile they end up in other people’s hands. Phones, whatever the cost, are best carried about the person at all times. The ‘it’ll be all right’ mentality may not cut any ice when we leave them on desks or on restaurant tables unattended. Perhaps an all too obvious mistake is leaving them in cars in the phone holder in full view of prying eyes.

Prevent your bike from taking a hike

An unchained bike is an unchained mournful melody. Leaving your bike unchained or unlocked in any area, especially urban, for an extended period is a sure fire way to see it gone on your return. Even popping into the newsagent to buy a paper or leaving it alone whilst posting a letter is long enough for a rogue cyclist to hop on it and cycle away.

Stop theif!!!

It is a safe practice to keep bikes safe with a decent chain, cable or D-lock. Have a think about locking the wheels too. Even when locked on the street, bikes should never be left too long. Remember the sorry image of a cannibalised bike? No wheels, no handle bar and no saddle – just a frame – a shadow of its former self….How sad…

The lights on but nobody’s home…

You might be ‘demob’ happy before going on holiday – but think carefully about who and how many you tell you’re going away. Also, be careful what you leave outside the home while you’re away. It may be prudent to tell your immediate neighbours so they can keep an eye on your place while you’re away – but maybe draw a line at the whole neighbourhood. Is your home insurance up-to-date? Most people are generally trustworthy – yet there are those who see an empty home for a fortnight as an inviting target. Be careful when speaking to strangers about where you live and when you are going.

Change passwords

‘My word is as good as my bond’ could be a useful motto when it comes to helping to keep items and buildings safe and secure with a password. Most of us may not need telling the importance of making a password unique and original. Using common names and date of births is a strict no-no, as is using the same password for multiple applications and then writing them down. Password owners can think about words and numbers which are very personal to them, and then change them every few weeks to keep hardened code-breakers at bay.

Never leave keys in ignition at filling stations

This old-fashioned blunder still occurs no matter how many times we have been told otherwise. We get fuel, leave the car keys in the filler cap or ignition and then go to kiosk to pay for it. The result? Your vehicle and its fresh tank of fuel is a sitting duck for thieves to drive away – and literally as fast – as they stole it.

Ultimately, by applying a little common sense and safer security habits, can equate to making life more fun rather than simply furious…

This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog.

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