Note to Self
Are you always scribbling on post it notes and leaving messages around the house? These may be hints and tips to help you out but they are also making life easier for burglars and hackers looking for relevant information to target your home and accounts. There are a few highly important messages we encourage you to keep to yourself and not leave on your belongings, such as:
Leaving your address on your keys – A number of people think this is a smart idea to make sure if you lose your keys they are returned easily by the person who found them, but this is based on the assumption it will be a good-natured person. If your keys were picked up by the wrong person, they could take the opportunity to find the property, make sure it is empty, let themselves in, and take whatever they like with ease. Do not make life easier for one of these opportunistic criminals with this little note, and make sure your keys are safe and secure in the first place.
Writing down your passwords – Some people have a page in the back of their diary, others leave a post it note on the fridge, either way if all your passwords are written down in one place it is a quick way for a virtual burglar to access your accounts. When people’s handbags are taken with your little book of information, it is important to inform your banks that someone has access to this because it could be used to successfully answer your security questions and make large withdrawals. Keep this information in your head and make sure it isn’t accessible to anyone in physical form.
Messages on the door for deliveries – It is hard to find the time to wait in all day for a delivery but sometimes you are in such a rush to receive your parcel that you leave a helpful note for your delivery driver asking them to leave the package behind the gate or in the recycling bin. This note is also very helpful for burglars. By leaving a message on your front door you have already let the burglar know that the house is empty for the day making it vulnerable, and it also tells a burglar where they can find your package without even attempting to enter the property.
Making notes on your phone – Nearly every smart device, whether it’s a phone, tablet or laptop, has the ability to make notes that you can pin to your home screen or keep in an app. If your phone is physically stolen or hacked remotely, the thief can access these notes which hold information to be used against you. For example, your passwords on your banking apps can be used to access your accounts or your holiday itinerary on your calendar lets people know when your house is empty.
Following this advice and being more aware of what you shouldn’t note down can protect you against potential burglary or cybercrime. However, if you can’t help but write important details down whilst you’re on the phone or if you keep hold of documents to remind you of any appointments then make sure you shred any of these notes as soon as you are done with them. Then take the shredded material straight to the recycling centre. If you leave it in the bins outside your property someone may look through them in the hope of finding useful information they can use against you. Remember with any decision you make about your personal property, to have your security in mind.
For more advice on a Smart outlook to your security, visit our website where you can let us know what you’d like to learn about in the next blog – now that is Smart.