Personal Safety Tips
College-wide Personal Safety/Campus Security Committee
- If you observe a person exhibiting suspicious behavior that alarms you, notify University Police immediately, do not attempt to question the person yourself. Record a description of the person to share with a University Police Communicator or Officer. If possible remain available to brief the responding officer.
- Wherever you are - on the street, in an office building or shopping mall, driving, waiting for a bus or subway - stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
- Send the message that you're calm, confident, and know where you're going.
- Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave.
- Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, and restaurants, or stores that are open late.
- Stick to well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, cemeteries, parking lots, or alleys.
- Don't flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing.
- Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket, not a back pocket. Try to use automated teller machines in the daytime. Have your card in hand and don't approach the machine if you're uneasy about people nearby.
- Don't wear shoes or clothing that restricts your movements.
- Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
- If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street.
- Walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lighted house. If you're scared, yell for help.
- Have to work late? Make sure there are others in the building, and ask someone - a colleague or security guard - to walk you to your car or transit stop.
- Keep your car in good running condition. Make sure there's enough gas to get where you're going and back.
- Always roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you're coming right back. Check inside and out before getting in.
- Avoid parking in isolated areas. Be especially alert in lots and underground parking garages.
- If you think someone is following you, don't head home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, gas station, or other open business to get help.
- Don't pick up hitchhikers. Don't hitchhike.
- If someone tries to rob you, don't resist. Give up your property; don't give up your life. Report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent others from becoming victims.
- Internet fraud often consists of scams that con artists have been using for years, only now they have a new medium and new victims to exploit. Here are some tips to help you navigate safely through cyberspace.
- Shop online only with companies you know. If you don't know a company/business, ask for a print catalog before you decide to order electronically.
- Use a secure browser that will encrypt or scramble purchase information. If you don't have encryption software, consider calling the merchant's 800 number, faxing your order, or paying with check. Or look for software that can be downloaded from the Internet for free.
- Never give anyone your bank account number, social security number, or other personal information that isn't absolutely needed to complete a transaction.
- Never give out your Internet password. Never. Your online provider will not ask for your password other than at first log-in. Change your password often and be creative.
- Rape is an act of violence. It is an attempt to control and degrade using sex as a weapon.
- Rape can happen to anyone - children, students, wives, mothers, working women, grandmothers, the rich and poor, and boys and men. Rapists can be anyone - classmates, co-workers, a neighbor or delivery person, ugly or attractive, outgoing or shy, often a friend or family member. Rapists commit their crime again and again, until they are caught.
- To protect yourself - use your head. Be alert. Walk with confidence and purpose.
- Be aware of your surrounding - know who's out there and what's going on.
- Don't let alcohol or other drugs cloud your judgment.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or place makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, leave.
- Make sure all doors (don't forget sliding glass doors) and windows have sturdy, well-installed locks, and use them. Install a wide-angle peephole in the door. Keep entrances well lighted.
- Never open your door to strangers. Offer to make an emergency call while someone waits outside. Check the identification of any sales or service people before letting them in. Don't be embarrassed to phone for verification.
- Be wary of isolated spots - apartment laundry rooms, underground garages, parking lots, and offices after business hours. Walk with a friend, co-worker, or security guard, particularly at night.
- Know your neighbors, so you have someone to call or go to if you're scared.
- If you come home and see a door or window open, or broken, don't go in.
- Call the police from a public phone or neighbor's home.
Out and About
- Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Stay in well-traveled, well-lighted areas.
- Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom of movement.
- Be careful if anyone in a car asks you for directions - if you answer, keep your distance from the car.
- Have your key ready before you reach the door - home, car, or office.
- If you think you're being followed, change direction and head for open stores, restaurants, theaters, or a lighted house.
- Park in areas that will be well-lighted and well-traveled when you return.
- Always lock your car - when you get in and when you get out.
- Look around your car and in the back seat before you get in.
- If your car breaks down, lift the hood, lock the doors, and turn on your flashers. Use a "Call Police" banner or flares. If someone stops, roll the window down slightly and ask the person to call the police or a tow service.
- Don't hitchhike, ever. Don't pick up a hitchhiker.
Tips provided by the National Crime Prevention Council.