CRIME PREVENTION SAFETY TIPS
Parking Lot Safety Tips
- Walk to your vehicle in pairs or in a group.
- Follow a well-lit pathway or roadway when walking to your vehicle.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for suspicious people and or activities as you are walking to your vehicle.
- Use the Night Ride shuttle service 206.685.3146, the Hospital Security Officers escort service 206.598.4082 or Husky NightWalk 685.WALK.
- Be aware of the locations of all campus emergency telephones. Use them if you are concerned or feel your safety is in jeopardy.
- When you enter your vehicle, lock all the doors and turn on your headlights. This will allow you to see anyone outside in the dark.
- If you are unfamiliar with the parking lot, drive through it and check it first. If you don’t feel safe go elsewhere and park in a location where you feel comfortable.
- Have your keys in your hand so that you don’t have to search for them when you reach your vehicle.
- If you know that you will be returning to your vehicle when it’s dark outside, park in the parking lots that are well-lit.
- Visually inspect the inside of your vehicle before entering to make sure that no one has entered it.
- Report any suspicious activity to the UW Police Department.
Vehicle Safety Tips
- Lock your vehicle every time you leave it. Make it a habit. A criminal will always pick the vehicle that is easiest to get into.
- Don’t leave your windows rolled down, not even a crack. A criminal will use the window to force his way into the car, so don’t give him that advantage.
- Many crimes at the UW target vehicles in parking lots. Don’t leave vital information in your car. Your registration and insurance cards contain personal home information that allows a criminal to target your home or perpetrate identity theft. Carry these documents in your wallet or your purse.
- Park your vehicle in well-lit areas. Criminals don’t like to be seen. Parking under or near a street light will improve other people’s view of your car. It also improves your personal safety.
- Mark your valuables with a personal number. If personal property is stolen from your vehicle, a number or marking (such as a driver’s license number) will help the police trace the item back to you. Make sure the mark is permanently affixed, so the criminal cannot erase it. Never use your social security number as a personal number to engrave on your property.
- Don’t leave valuables in view for a thief. The famous saying“out of sight, out of mind” is applicable here. Take valuables with you or put them in your trunk prior to arriving at your destination. Do not put them in the glove box or under your seat as those are the first places a criminal will look.
- Affix your parking permit to your windshield. Parking permits are one of the most popular items stolen at Colleges and Universities. Make it more difficult to steal by sticking it to your windshield.
- Invest in a car alarm. A criminal does not like to be seen. Calling attention to your vehicle, if something is wrong, will deter a thief from attempting anything further.
Suspicious Person Behaviors
Suspicious people are people you do not recognize that you see:
- Entering rooms, offices and labs with no apparent business there.
- Tampering with door locks, windows, bicycles and vehicles.
- Working on bicycles still locked up for a long period of time.
- Appearing to be scared, nervous or anxious.
- Peering inside windows.
- Waiting outside near building entrances during opening or closing hours.
- Carrying weapons, such as knives or guns.
- Hanging out in restrooms for a long period of time.
- Lingering in hallways for a long period of time.
- Refusing help.
- Sleeping on chairs, furniture or the floor. (Use discretion during exams.)
If you see a suspicious person in your building, ask if you can help them. If the person has legitimate business in the building, he or she will appreciate your offer of help. When you call the police regarding a suspicious person, be prepared to describe the person and his/her direction of travel.
Personal Safety Tips
- At night, stay in well-lit areas and use routes that are more heavily traveled
- Carry a safety whistle. Whistles are available at no cost from UWPD. If you are in trouble, you can simply blow your whistle to attract attention. If you hear a whistle being blown, immediately call 911 to report the location of the incident.
- Avoid walking alone through isolated areas, such as shortcuts through parking lots and deserted parks.
- Familiarize yourself with the Campus Safety shuttle service and use it when you feel uncomfortable walking alone. Night Ride 206.685.3146. Husky NightWalk 206.685.WALK.
- Familiarize yourself with the locations of the Code Blue Emergency telephones on campus and the yellow emergency call boxes located in the parking garages. The emergency telephones' locations are highlighted on the university campus maps.
- Be aware of what is going on around you. If you suspect you are being followed, indicate your suspicion by looking behind you. If you are on foot, cross the street, change directions and head to a well-lit area or a place with people as soon as possible, such as a residence or academic building.
- Follow your gut instincts. If your intuition tells you that you are at risk, leave the situation quickly. If you see someone suspicious in a parking lot, building or anywhere on campus, leave the area and call the UW Police at 911 from any campus phone. 911 calls from pay phones are free.
- If you enter an elevator and the person riding with you is making you uncomfortable, leave. Get off before the door closes or leave at the next floor.
- Use the buddy system. When with a friend at a party, agree to watch out for each other and to leave the event together or in a group.
- Should you become a victim of a crime, call the police as soon as you safely can.
Bike Theft Prevention Tips
- Never leave your bike unlocked even for a minute. Take your time to make sure that your bike is properly secured with the lock through the frame and both tires.
- Park in well-lit, heavily travelled areas.
- Register your bike with the UW Police Department. Visit our Web page at www.washington.edu/admin/police/prevention/bikereg.html to register your bike.
- Use a U-Lock instead of a cable lock. U-Locks are solid steel and are very hard to cut. Cable locks are easily cut because they are not solid steel. If you prefer to have a lock that is flexible like the cable lock, make sure that it is 3/8 in diameter and solid steel. And remember two locks are better than one.
- Consider the cost of your bike when looking for a lock. It is recommended that you spend about 10% of what you paid for your bike for a lock.
- Always secure your bike to a bike rack or solid object.
- Report all suspicious people loitering around the bike racks.
Residence Hall Safety Tips
- Residence halls are restricted to the students who live there and their visitors only, so don’t allow strangers to enter behind you.
- Never give out your residence hall neighbor’s personal information to a stranger who is asking where they live. A stranger or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend may try to obtain the whereabouts of a person to harm them.
- Lock your doors at all times even when you are just going next door to visit a friend or to the bathroom. Most thefts only take one minute. Unlocked doors are a favorite target for thieves.
- Lock your doors while you are inside for personal safety. Be aware of who is at your door. Use your peep hole if you have one to observe the person at your door. If you don’t recognize the person, you should not open the door. Have the person leave any information at your door and retrieve it when you feel safe.
- Do not tamper with your door locking mechanisms. Never use any object(s) to prevent your dorm room door from closing and/or locking, such as trash cans to prop doors open or tape to keep the door from locking.
- Never leave entry/exit doors propped open. Propped doors could allow an unauthorized person to gain entry into your residence hall or dorm room.
- Lock your windows while you are away, especially if you live on the ground floor. Keep blinds closed to avoid advertising your life.
- Report lost or stolen resident hall keys immediately.
- Get to know your residence hall neighbors. This will make it easier to identify a stranger lurking around inside of your hall.
- Avoid leaving messages on your door advertising your departure or arrival times. This serves to alert thieves of your absence. Also consider removing your name if it is posted on your door.
- Temporarily stop daily deliveries to your door when you are away and ask a neighbor to pick up any items that may arrive unexpectedly at your door.
- Report all suspicious people and/or activity to the UW Police Department. Dial 911 from any campus phone. 911 calls from pay phones are free.
Laptop Theft Prevention Tips
- Do not leave your laptop in a vehicle. If you must, secure it in the trunk of your vehicle prior to your arrival at your destination.
- Don't leave a meeting or conference room without your laptop. Take it with you or it may not be there when you return.
- Lock your laptop in your office or work area after hours or put the laptop in a locked closet or cabinet.
- Require all visitors at your department to sign-in before allowing them into your work area.
- Consider installing a theft recovery tracing device on your computer, so if it’s lost or stolen you have a greater chance of getting it back.
- Never carry your laptop in an obvious laptop bag or carrying case. These are immediate flags for would-be thieves.
- Never leave your laptop unattended, even for a moment.
- Purchase insurance coverage for your laptop.
- Secure your laptop with a security cable.
- Be certain to back up all important data daily. The hardest thing to replace when a laptop is stolen is the lost data.
- Protect the data and access of the computer with strong password or a hardware key device. Hardware key products include fingerprint identification devices and other access control devices that plug into the USB port.
- Register your electronics with UW Police Department at www.washington.edu/admin/police/prevention/electronic_reg.html
Identity Theft Precautions
- “Opt Out” of receiving pre-screened credit card offers by calling 1-888-567-8688.
- Order a copy of your credit report frequently. (www.annualcreditreport.com)
- Remove your name from mailing, telephone and email solicitation lists.
- Place a continuous credit “fraud alert” on your credit report.
- Get a locking mailbox for incoming mail and use a USPS drop box for outgoing.
- Place a hold on your mail when going on vacation.
- Have banking checks mailed to your financial institution.
- Keep a list of all your account numbers and the telephone numbers in case of loss/theft.
- Never, never carry your or your children's social security cards in your wallet or purse.
Mailing / Telephone Solicitation: Mail Preference Service OR Telephone Preference Service
Attn: Preference Service Manager
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 3079
Grand Central Station, NY 10163
National Do-not-call registry: www.donotcall.gov. Call 1.888.382.1222
Pre-approved credit cards: Call toll-free 1.888.567.8688 (will be requested to provide SS # for processing)
To file a complaint about suspected violations, email email@example.com, or call 1.888.225.5322.
If you are a victim of Identity Theft
- Call police and file a report. Get a copy for your records and to submit as proof to creditors.
- Contact all creditors/banks/credit reporting agencies.
- Complete an I.D. Theft Affidavit.
- Close all affected accounts. Request that they indicate “closed at consumer’s request.”
- Place a “fraud alert” on your credit report. This requires creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts under your name.
- Stop payment on outstanding checks.
- Request new ATM/credit cards.
- Change all passwords and PINS.
- Contact your Postal Inspection Service if you believe your mail had been tampered with.
- Set up a folder to keep a detailed history of the crime. Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents.
- Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if another license was issued in your name.
FBI : www.fbi.gov
Federal Trade Commission: 1.877.IDTHEFT, http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
Washington State Attorney General’s Office: 1.800.551.4636
SS Admin: 1.800.269.0271; www.ssa.gov
Dept. of Education: www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/misused/idtheft
3 Major Credit Reporting Agencies:
Equifax: 1.800.525.6285; www.equifax.com
Experian: 1.888.397.3742; www.experian.com
TransUnion: 1.800.680.7289; www.transunion.com