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5 Things You Should Never Keep in Your Car

Car break-ins aren't always just about vandalism or theft. If your car has been broken into, you may be facing some more serious consequences that hit much closer to home.

People tend to leave all sorts of items in their cars -- items that contain confidential information that could be dangerous if it ends up in the wrong hands.

With that warning in mind, here are five things you should never keep in your car because of potential security risks:

  1. Title and registration. These documents have identifying information on them -- namely, your address. That can be a huge problem if thieves learn where you live and use that information to burglarize your home. These documents should especially be removed from your car if you're leaving it unattended in an airport parking lot, or any other long-term lot. If you must leave these items in your car, try to find a less obvious location than the armrest or glove compartment.

  2. Your cell phone. Many people's smartphones now contain their entire address book, complete with phone numbers, addresses, and email contact info. Sometimes, people even have their spouses or significant others listed as "wife" or "husband." This information can be used by criminals -- they could potentially text your spouse or other relatives to get personal information like PINs or account numbers.

  3. A GPS device programmed with your home address. Be careful about programming your home address into your GPS, and then leaving it in your car. If a criminal gets his hands on your GPS, it could lead him and his cronies right to your doorstep.

  4. Your garage door remote. If your garage remote is kept in your car and criminals get their hands on your address (through the paperwork you left in your car or through the GPS), then you've essentially given them a key to break into your home -- or at least your garage.

  5. Mail. Again, your mail has your address. And if you leave credit card statements or other sensitive correspondence in your car, then you're potentially leaving yourself wide open to identity theft.

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