How do you go about protecting all those new gadgets and gizmos you got at Christmas or your birthday? You might be surprised to discover that there are many ingenious ways to keep your stuff safe other than keeping them on your person at all times or locking them up somewhere.
Whether you’re at home, at work, in a public place, or on vacation, the following tips will help you secure, disguise, hide, or make it easier to track down your stuff.
When you’re home, the best way to keep everything safe is to sign up for a reputable monitored home security system, especially if living in an area where burglaries are relatively common, such as a city. If you’re deterred by the price, you might be surprised to learn that top security tools like ADT security can protect your home for as little as $9 a week.
Besides keeping your stuff safe, your family will be protected, too. If your children get home from school before you get out of work, you will know that the house is protected from any unwanted intruders.
However, the most vulnerable possession in your house and the one that has the highest likelihood of getting stolen is your sensitive information. So it’s important to keep all the data on all your devices safe, too. Use passwords protect everything from your Wi-Fi network access to your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Additionally, buy some good antivirus software to prevent people from stealing your data when you go online.
It’s also important to keep your stuff safe from accidents and loss. Buy reliable cases for phones and tablets, and making it a habit to put things in their proper place when done using them.
One way to keep your stuff safe at work is to put a label on it. This is especially useful for gadgets. The label should have your name and address on it. Sometimes your stuff might not get stolen but either lost of misplaced. For example, you leave your handbag in the break room and the night cleanup crew finds it under the table. With your name on it, it’s much easier for the finder to return it.
Use an anti-theft lunch bag to protect the sandwich and apple you’ve been saving as your mid-afternoon treat from getting lifted by a lunch thief. Simply smudge some food dye on your plastic sandwich bags. Once somebody pulls it out of the lunch bag, they will see fuzzy green dots, they will mistake it for mold.
The best way to attract attention in a public place, like a mall or grocery store or coffee shop, is to carry it in a bag that screams “opulence.”
If you’re shopping in a neighborhood with a crime rate, it’s best not to take your most expensive handbags with you. Besides handbags, laptop bags also attract a lot of attention–bags that have a high-tech look attract attention from those who would like to have a laptop without buying one.
One way to keep your laptop or mobile devices safe is to use a simple nondescript bag to carry your precious electronic belongings. It could be as simple as a fed-ex envelope, a cheap plastic shopping bag, or a beaten up old leather case.
What about your wallet or purse? That’s probably even more tempting than handbags or laptop cases. While you might do your best to keep your cash and credit cards and id safe, but you might still lose your purse or wallet, either through an act of carelessness or a pickpocket. Worse still, you might only realize that you lost it when you’re back home?
Here’s one ingenious way, you might be able to get your lost or stolen wallet or purse back:
In Edinburgh, psychologists conducted a test with 240 wallets. After losing these wallets around city streets, they waited to see how many would be returned. In the plastic sleeves, they either put a picture of “a smiling baby, a cute puppy, a happy family or a contented elderly couple” were inserted or no image was left at all. Some wallets also contained papers indicating the owner had recently donated to charity.
Here’s what happened:
“The baby photograph wallets had the highest return rate, with 88 per cent of the 40 being sent back. Next came the puppy, the family and the elderly couple, with 53 per cent, 48 and 28 respectively. At 20 per cent and 15, the charity card and control wallets had the lowest return rates.”
So insert a cute baby picture in your wallet!
How to Keep your Stuff Safe When Traveling
If you’re backpacking, you might sleep in a hostel room, a bus, or train. Use a concealed money belt to keep your passport, credit-cards, cash, and camera memory cards on you.If you’re staying at a hotel, read reviews about the hotel. Finally, keep an eye on your bags as you travel on taxis, buses, and trains, and if you have precious possession in them, distribute them over several bags.
Try out these ideas. While you might not be able to keep everything safe from loss, theft, or someone borrowing it without your permission, you will at least protect most of your important stuff.