Personal Safety Tips
- The old saying, safety in numbers has never been truer. Statistics show that walking with two people reduces your chances of being a victim by 90%, one person reduces your chances by 70%.
- While walking, walk assertively, in familiar locations. Regularly change your route and walking times. Walk only in well-lit areas.
- While shopping, only take what you can afford to lose. Keep unnecessary cash, credit cards at home.
- Guard your checks as if they were cash. Your checkbook is a valuable item to a criminal. It not only contains your personal information, but also can be used to obtain cash while ruining your good name and credit.
- Don't allow your purse to hang by the strap. Wear the strap across your body or hold the purse close to your body like a football.
- Avoid giving out personal information about yourself, your money, or credit cards over the phone.
- Avoid using outside ATM's at night. If it is necessary to use an ATM at night, use an ATM located inside a busy and will-lit convenience store or supermarket.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If you are being followed, don't return home. Go to a occupied business where you can call for assistance or to a police substation.
- If you carry weapons, make sure your weapon is legal. Practice with your weapon. Know the effects and be prepared to use it. Pepper spray is the most effective and legal way to repel an attacker.
- Above all, trust your instincts about dangerous situations. If your instincts are telling you that you could be putting yourself in a vulnerable situation, you're most likely right!
- Protect your privacy. Consider carefully before publishing any identifiable information about yourself or your family. Find out about available filters and adjust your privacy settings so your profile and certain information cannot be seen by outsiders.
- Beware of information from unproven sources. Don’t believe everything you read, just because it is online. Carefully assess the validity of the information you view, based on its origin, the reputation of the source, and how it’s reported elsewhere.
- Remember the internet is a public space. Anything you write or share on the internet, on web pages that can be seen by anyone with an online connection, may be considered as public. Once you have posted information, even if you delete it soon afterwards, it may circulate quickly and easily (and potentially for an indefinite time). Be aware of these facts before you post or share anything online.
- Do not meet online contacts in the real world. If you plan to meet someone you’ve been in contact with online, make sure you tell close friends or family about who you’re meeting and where, and make sure that your meeting place is in a safe, relatively busy public place.
- Stop and think before uploading images from your mobile device. This is a quick and easy way to share photos, but you need to be sure that the photos are appropriate to post online.
- Mobile devices might contain as much sensitive information as a computer. Emails, contacts and even passwords pre-entered into websites on your mobile device may still be held on your handset – so take steps to protect and secure your mobile phone.
- Be careful about sharing your location. Some services allow you to share your location with friends and other contacts, but only share this information with people you trust. Think: do you want anybody and everybody to know exactly where you are (and therefore where you are not) at any given time?
- Teach children that certain information is personal. Help your children to carefully consider whether they should publicly disclose information like their full name, street address and phone number. Make sure they know that family financial information is personal and should stay that way. Tell children not to choose a user name, identity and/or profile that gives away too much personal information.
- Burglars look for homes that give the appearance that the homeowner is away for a extended period of time, such as a vacation. The following tips are designed to help reduce the chances of your residence being burglarized while you are away from your home.
- Discontinue any deliveries to the home by phone or in person ahead of time. Avoid leaving notes.
- Either discontinue mail and newspaper delivery or have a neighbor or friend pick them up daily.
- Inform neighbors of your absence so they can be extra alert for suspicious persons. Leave a key with them so the house can be inspected. Tell them where you will be so you can be contacted in the event of an emergency while you are away.
- If you have a motor vehicle that is not garaged, arrange for it to be moved from time to time while you are away.
- Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves and maintain the yard to give the home a lived in look.
- Leave your blinds, shades and curtains in a normal position. Don't close them unless it is normally what you do when you are at home.
- Have a neighbor place your garbage cans at the curb on your normal pickup day(s) and return them after the garbage pickup is made.
- Plug in timers to turn lights, radio and television on and off at appropriate times.
Vehicle Safety Tips
- Never leave a vehicle unattended while it is running, or with the keys in the ignition.
- If you travel as part of your job, or are required to be out late at night, carry a cell phone so you can call for help.
- Do not leave valuables, such a purses, CD's, sports equipment, and brief cases, in plain view inside of your vehicle. Place those items under a seat or in the trunk, or take them inside.
- Don't leave your garage door opener inside of your vehicle if it is parked outside of your house at night.
- Keep your vehicle in good working order.
- If possible, keep windows up and doors locked while driving