Staying Safe

by Thomas Walters // April-May-June 2017

We all want to ensure that our loved ones are protected from life’s uncertainties – this includes preventing losses from happening in the first place. While the majority of people are good and trustworthy, it’s a sad fact of life that there are some out there who look to take advantage of honest individuals. Following are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim.

While a thief is obviously a person making a bad decision, he or she is not necessarily unintelligent. Don’t underestimate someone who is determined to rip you off in one way or another.

Think about the items you keep in your car, and how these could be a boon to a thief. One thing you should consider is taking the remote garage door opener with you when you leave your car, even if you are only going to be gone for a short time. If you keep your registration in your car, or any other items that contain your home address, you’ve just told your thief where you live and provided a way to get into your house. Taking the garage door opener with you can be particularly important before parking at long-term parking at an airport, which also lets thieves know you’ll be away from your home for a long period of time.

Similarly, consider changing the “Home” setting on your car’s GPS to a nearby location – such as a store or gas station, for example – so that you can still find your way home, but not give a car thief directions to your house.

Another tech tip you should avoid is using nicknames like “Husband,” “Son,” or “Mom” in your cell phone. If you got a text from “Hubby” that said “In line at grocery store. Forgot PIN for debit card. Text it to me please;” or from “Mom” that said “What’s our garage door keypad code again?” you would likely text the requested information. If said cell phone falls into the hands of a thief, you have just given him or her access to your bank account or your home. In addition, if someone requests sensitive information from you via text, I recommend calling the person to confirm his or her identity. Plus, it’s more secure to share that information via a phone call rather than having it sitting in texts on a couple of phones.

We can’t avoid all of life’s risks, but we can take steps to minimize them and protect our property and family as much as possible.

Thomas Walters

Allstate agent and owner of Walters Insurance Agency.