How To Make Your Purse More Secure From Theft
Welcome back Common Sense Crusaders to the final installment in my three part series on Women’s Safety! In part one I cover what type of closures are safer. In the second installment I go into the considerations you should think about when you are going to be buying a new purse or bag. In this part I will present tips to keep the valuables in your purse safer.
Once again I am encouraging men to continue reading this post because I am sure that you guys will want to help keep all the women in your lives as safe and secure as possible.
You might be asking yourself why am I spending so much time on purses – because they really can be a security risk that not many people think about.
Let’s take into account some of the common things a woman keeps in her purse; wallet, keys, and work ID to list a few.
In a wallet we generally have very important items such as license or other identification, cash, credit/bank cards, and health benefit information.
We usually carry both our house and vehicle keys in our purses.
Therefore, if a thief steals our entire purse, they not only have all our cash, but our cards to go shopping with or make money transfers. They can also drive our vehicles to our homes and rob us there too because they have our keys and they know where we live because of our identification. They also have ample information to steal our identities. Oh, and they can possibly get into where we work too, if we keep our work ID badge in the purse. I NEVER leave my work ID badge in my purse for just this reason.
In part one I go over the common types of closures on a purse and the reason why I did is because if you don’t close your purse or it pops open easily then you have a greater chance of getting things stolen. A pick pocket is going to look for an easy target, not one they have to work at and possibly get caught. An open purse is an invitation for someone to grab what they can get easily. I have heard stories where a purse was left open and someone just grabbed the wallet out of it. To be perfectly honest – there really isn’t much the security staff can do about that. Unless the thief makes it obvious that he/she is reaching into your purse, we might not even be able to see the crime on camera. A well timed stumble or a gentle brush up against you and your important stuff could be long gone!
Part two covers some considerations you should ponder when choosing a new bag. I talk about getting a purse with a long shoulder strap that you loop across your body instead of short handles which you hold on your shoulder or by the elbow. I did this because having only short handles makes it easier for someone to grab. A quick yank off your shoulder or arm and your entire purse is gone! Don’t make it easy for a purse snatcher to make a clean get away. If you have it looped across your body it is much harder to grab it and go. A thief would have to grab it, swing it over your head and untangle it from your arm.
Having a long shoulder strap also provides you the ability to hold your purse without having to actually hold on to it. I had the tendency to put my purse down because it was too awkward to hold while I was doing things. This can lead to your entire purse getting stolen. Combine that with it was more than likely wide open because I rarely took the 2 ½ seconds it took to close it. I would sometimes leave it like that in the child seat in a shopping cart – easy pickings when I turned my back to it to grab an item off the shelf or tend to a little one. A good compromise would be to get a purse that has both short handles and a long shoulder strap.
Another reason why having a long shoulder strap to loop across your body is safer is because you can keep it right in front of your body. You will obviously be more likely to see someone right in front of you than someone who comes up behind you. I keep my purse looped across my body with the two small pockets facing me.
I live in Western New York where we are dressed in heavy coats for what seems like half the year. I will put my purse under my jacket for an extra layer of security. I can still get at it easily enough, but a thief would have a much harder time. They have to sneak inside my coat right in front of my face to try and get something out of my purse which has the pockets facing me and is zipped closed. I think we are getting pretty close to magician level skills to get something that way. I’m sure it is possible, but the more little steps you take, the safer you will be.
See? A few tiny little details can add up to big safety measures. All with very little impact on what you would normally do.
On to another item that can be used to carry important items that are not very safe, in my opinion. I have seen some really nice wallet, phone case combos that just have a wrist strap. These are nice and compact and very convenient to carry items without the need for a big purse, but they are easily set down and forgotten. Where I work, we see these turned in quite often to the lost and found. They are just as, if not more likely, to get set down because they are more awkward to hold on to and do things than a regular purse. It is also easier for someone to scoop it up and pocket it without much difficulty. I would again suggest getting a small purse with a long shoulder strap to loop across your body.
I have never been one to make a big deal out of getting name brand or designer items, but I know some people are very trendy and really like and appreciate these things. Here’s where I become the Diva Downer. (Sorry!) By getting an expensive designer purse, you are making yourself a bigger target for not only the items in your purse, but the purse itself. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy yourself an expensive designer purse, just make sure you consider where and when you are going to be using it.
I hope you got a lot of value out of this three part series on women’s safety. A purse may not seem to be very high on the security scale, but when you look at all you carry in it and what could happen if some or all of it gets stolen, it really is a very important. You could potentially lose everything from your identity to all your money to your vehicle and items from your home. So for now just remember:
Keep your purse closed at all times – think of how difficult it would be if you had to start replacing everything that could get stolen.
Consider having a long shoulder strap that you loop across your body – You are less likely to have to put it down and it is not as easy for a thief to get into.
Get a small purse instead of a wallet, phone case combo – the wrist strap can make it awkward to hold on to and it is more likely you will set it down.
Think twice about getting an expensive designer purse – take into consideration where you will be when you are using it and assess your risk.