Tips for a Smarter, Safer Sharing Economy
At this point, you or someone you know has probably made use of the sharing economy, either on the road or in day-to-day life. Maybe you’ve ridden in an Uber, or maybe you’ve rented a place to stay using Airbnb or Paris Perfect. In any case—even if you haven’t used one of these services—there’s no doubt that the general population is becoming more trusting of people they rent services to or from. Unfortunately, there are still risks, including the risk of identity theft. In fact, a recent study by LifeLock revealed that one in four Americans has been the victim of identity theft.
The lesson? Be smart with your money and your belongings. Here are some tips that LifeLock provides to help you limit your risks when using sharing economy services. Check them out below, and share your own in the comments!
- Sharing road rules
Ridesharing services can make it easy to travel without owning a car. Take precautions, though. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans (24%) have left a valuable personal item in a taxi or ridesharing service, such as a wallet or phone. Always check the seat before hopping out.
- Houseguest safety
Additionally, if travelers plan to share a home or apartment this summer, make sure they aren’t sharing their personal identity too. Forty-one percent of Americans admit they have looked through someone’s personal items when visiting their home.
- Clean up and go
Here’s a tip if other people will be in a consumers’ home while their away: lock up documents and personal possessions. Nearly half of Americans (49%) frequently leave personal documents in their home unlocked – for example, a social security card or passport. That means more eyes may be on them than they’d like.
- Risky business?
Americans might not realize just how nosy people can be: 50% think it’s riskier to leave the doors to their home unlocked for a week than to rent their home to a stranger. Be careful—identity theft can be just as damaging as a break-in.
- Don’t forget the mail
One more thing: however and whenever Americans get away, let USPS know. Mail theft can lead to identify theft, and not just carried out by strangers. Avoid familiar fraud by having the post office hold the mail instead of a neighbor or friend. Despite the risks, 37% of Americans are unlikely to put their mail on hold with the post office when they go on vacation.
- One man’s trash
Trashing personal documents isn’t enough. Forty-one percent of Americans, including 53% of parents, have thrown away documents in a public garbage can that includes personal information—for example, a phone number or bank account information. It’s time to invest in a paper shredder.
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