Personal Safety Tips

Shopping

  • Avoid shopping alone.
  • Use the buddy system whenever possible.
  • Shop before dark and always park in well-lighted areas.
  • Use waist-pack carriers instead of purses.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked in your vehicle and home.
  • Do not keep packages in plain view in your vehicle or home.
  • Do not count cash in open areas, especially after leaving an ATM machine.
  • Keep your address and home phone number private.
  • When stores request a phone number, give only your work number.
  • After making a credit card purchase, request the carbon copy and destroy it in private.
  • Have keys in hand before returning to the vehicle.
  • As you approach the car, check to see if anyone is hiding underneath or inside.

At Home (or your apartment)

  • Never let strangers inside your residence.
  • Keep your garage door closed to prevent thefts.
  • When going out for the evening, turn on lights, a radio, or television to make your home or apartment appear occupied.
  • Keep the garage door closed to prevent thefts.
  • If you plan to be out of town for a few days, purchase an automatic timer for lights.
  • Have a trusted neighbor watch your home and pick up your mail and newspapers.
  • Ask them to park a vehicle in your driveway.
  • Immediately after the holidays, mark new purchases and gifts with your driver's license number.
  • Don’t use your full name on mailbox, telephone book, answering machine.
  • Don’t leave schedule on answering machine.
  • Don’t hide keys in easily accessible places-criminals will find them.
  • Check photo ID on repairmen.
  • Don’t let strangers in your home to use the phone.
  • Make the call for them Wide-angle door viewer

On the Computer

  • Shop only from well-established and reputable companies.
  • Avoid auction sites if you do not feel comfortable buying or bidding.
  • Before you give your credit card information, take note of the icons that indicate that security software is in place to secure your purchase.
  • Print out and date a copy of all terms, conditions, warranties, item description, company information and confirming e-mails.
  • Save this information as a record of your purchase.
  • Avoid computer viruses and unwanted access to your information by not accepting e-mail from people you do not know.

On the Street

  • NEVER hitchhike
  • Walk in the middle of the sidewalk
  • Walk facing oncoming traffic
  • Don’t carry too many packages
  • Don’t wear music headphones
  • Don’t read while walking or standing on a sidewalk
  • If you carry a purse w/shoulder strap be prepared to let go if snatched
  • Carry a second wallet If confronted with a weapon-don’t resist
  • Avoid being on the street if you are upset or intoxicated
  • If you carry a purse, carry it close to your body, preferably in front and carry no more money or credit cards than you need.
  • If confronted by someone who takes your property, get a good description to help the police in making the arrest.

In a Car

  • Keep your car in good working order
  • Check the area around your parked car
  • Always park in visible, well lighted areas
  • Avoid parking next to a large truck or van
  • Have your keys ready when approaching your vehicle
  • When sitting in your car, keep the doors locked and the windows rolled up
  • When driving, keep all doors locked Any valuables in the car should be placed in the trunk
  • Exercise extra caution when using underground or enclosed parking garages
  • When stopped at traffic lights, allow space between you and the next vehicle in case you have to drive away
  • If someone attempts to enter your car blow the horn and drive away
  • Many people consider a cellular phone a good investment
  • DO NOT pick up hitchhikers
  • Do not open the window if someone approaches to ask questions
  • Never leave house keys attached to car keys at service stations or parking facilities
  • Do not stop for stranded vehicles
  • Call for help If you have a flat tire, drive on it to a well-lighted area.
  • If your vehicle is disabled, raise the hood, attach a handkerchief to the door handle, and stay in car with doors locked
  • If you are involved in a minor accident that is suspicious-stay in the car
  • If you are being followed, DON’T drive home
  • Carry in your car-a flashlight, fix-a-flat, maps, warm clothing, a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, empty gas can, and a white cloth to tie on the door handle
  • If you are driving in an area you are not familiar with, plan the route and check a map before you start out
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