Around your Residence
While Out Walking
Protecting Personal Property
Before Leaving for Break
Protecting your Bicycle
Protecting your Vehicle
PROTECTION OF SELF AND PROPERTY
The following suggestions are offered to help you protect yourself and your personal property.
- Report all suspicious persons and/or activity on campus to the Department of Campus Safety immediately at extension 3110. To the best of your knowledge, describe the suspicious individual(s) to the dispatcher, the activity they are involved in, vehicle information if known as well as the last known location of the individual(s).
- When alone in your room, keep the door locked. You should also keep your room door locked at night when sleeping.
- When you leave your room, even if only for a few minutes, CLOSE AND LOCK your door. This will ensure that no one is inside waiting for you to return and help prevent any property from being stolen.
- NEVER prop exterior doors. Propping exterior doors provides an opportunity for unwanted individuals to enter your residence. Individuals caught propping exterior doors will be subject to a fine and/or disciplinary action.
- When entering a building with a key or a keycard, do not allow others to enter if they are unknown to you. If they do enter and you believe that they are suspicious, call Campus Safety .
- Keep your key or keycard for your residence hall. DO NOT lend your key or keycard to anyone. In the event you lose your key or keycard or it is stolen report it to Campus Safety IMMEDIATELY. Keycards will be deactivated to ensure no other unauthorized persons gain access to your residence hall. If found, the keycards may be reactivated.
- Do not publicize your last name, phone number, where you are or when you will return on your room door or lounge area, this enables strangers to gain information that may be used to harass you.
- Never attach your name and room number to your key or keycard. It is suggested that you carry your key and/or keycard separate from any identification. In the event that your keys or keycards are stolen this will prevent unknown individuals to locate where you live.
- Report all suspicious persons or harassing phone calls to Department of Campus Safety and Police IMMEDIATELY at extension 3110.
- Keep the Campus Safety number and other emergency numbers near your phone.
- Walk together. Two is good but the larger the group the better.
- Avoid dark or deserted areas, streets, alleys, parking lots, and cemetery grounds. DO NOT use Cedar Beach Park as a short cut to Hamilton Street. The park closes at dusk, it is poorly lit.
- Avoid areas known to have crime problems – especially at night.
- Be alert, observant, and aware of your surroundings. Take note of any person(s) on the street with you. When walking, walk with your head up, with confidence and as if you have purpose and/or destination. Avoid walking with headsets on, as this will decrease your ability to hear what is going on around you.
- Don’t hitchhike or accept rides from strangers or casual acquaintances.
- REMEMBER if you see or believe that you see a suspicious incident, report it immediately to Campus Safety at extension 3110.
- In the event you need to go somewhere on campus at night alone, Department of Campus Safety and Police provides an escort service. You can receive an escort by calling extension 3110 or 3112.
- Record serial numbers, model, and brand name as well as a description of valuable items in your room or office with the estimated value. This information should be kept in a secure location. A copy of this information should be kept at home as well.
- NEVER leave valuables unattended, lying on the top of a dresser or desk, or any location where somebody can easily access it and take it. Keep a record of all credit cards in a separate place and keep code numbers to MAC cards hidden.
- Avoid carrying or keeping large sums of money around. DO NOT TELL ANYONE that you have large sums of money on your person or in your room.
- Require identification and authorization from service men or plant operations personnel prior to allowing them entry to your room. When in doubt call Campus Safety (extension 3110) or Plant Operations (extension 3400) to verify. All plant operations personnel and outside contractors are required to wear identifying badges while on campus.
- When leaving your room, lock all doors and windows even if only leaving for a few seconds.
- During semester breaks take all valuables home with you. If you are unable to do so, do not leave valuables out in the open. Store them inside a footlocker or other secure area.
- Check with your insurance company to verify that your property is covered while at school. A rider should be purchased from your insurance company in case of theft.
- Ensure all windows and doors to your residence room and/or apartment is locked before leaving.
- Close all blinds and shades
- Turn off all lights
- Defrost your refrigerator and remove all food if leaving for more then five days.
- Remove all personal belongings from bathrooms and secure all valuables or take valuables with you.
- Take out all trash.
Property Identification is an anti-theft program. The goal of the program is to deter burglars and to help police recover and identify stolen property. The program works as follows:
- An officer from the Department of Campus Safety will come to the residence halls. Campus Safety will notify the students in advance when they will be in your building. The officer will then engrave any items of value with an electric engraver.
- Your driver’s license operator number is engraved on all portable items of value.
- A list of all engraved items including brand names, model numbers, serial numbers, and value of the items is compiled. The student receives the list, which should be kept in a secure area. A copy of this list should be kept at home, as well as a copy to be kept at Campus Safety.
- Books are an easy target for thieves; never leave your books unattended. Mark them with your name and last four digits of your social security number. Mark several pages with your initials. Using the same page number in all of your books will assist you in being able to recall which pages are marked should you need to report the book lost or stolen. If books are stolen this enables the person buying the book back to determine its rightful owner.
- In the event your items are marked and become lost or stolen the property may then be identified and returned to its owner.
- Buy a good lock for your bicycle. Professionals recommend the horseshoe shaped steel alloy lock, which operates by a key. These are more expensive than the chain and padlock type but are more effective in preventing thefts.
- Lock your bike to the bike racks around campus. NEVER lock your bike to hand rails, in handicapped walkways, or interior stairwells.
- Put the lock through the frame of the bike as well as both wheels if possible. Otherwise the lock should go through the frame and which ever tire is easiest to remove.
In accordance with the City of Allentown Ordinance, all bicycles within the city must be registered with the Allentown Police Department. All bicycles will be issued a license, which will be assigned to the bicycle that is valid up to two years. There is no charge for this registration. Individuals operating bicycles that are not registered could face a fine of up to $25.00 and/or immediate confiscation of the bicycle by the police. This ordinance also requires that proper lights be affixed to the bicycle if it is to be operated in the evening hours. Failure to have proper lighting on the bicycle may also result in a fine. To assist in this registration, the registration forms will be available at the Department of Campus Safety Office. To register your bike, bring your bicycle to the Campus Safety Office and provide the make, model, serial number, color, the number of gears, special equipment and wheel size. The Department of Campus Safety will provide the completed registration forms to the Allentown Police Department. If you have any questions, call Campus Safety at extension 3112.
- Remove the ignition key and lock the doors whenever you are not in the vehicle.
- Avoid leaving valuables in the car. If you are unable to take them with you, lock them in the trunk.
- When parking, choose a well-lit area and park in a high traffic area.
- Install anti-theft locks and/or a vehicle alarm.
- Keep a spare set of keys in a secure area.
- Check for loiterers before leaving or returning to your vehicle.
- Check under the vehicle as you approach it. Check the back seat of your vehicle prior to entering your car.
- Have your keys ready before returning to your vehicle.
- Keep your doors locked when driving. Drive on well lit streets whenever possible.
- If your safety is threatened, hold down the horn and drive off.
- Remember ALL vehicles need to be registered with Campus Safety.
- If you see any suspicious person(s) or vehicle(s) on or around campus, or someone confronts you, call Department of Campus Safety and Police at extension 3110.
Remember, if you return to campus late at night, use the emergency phones to call Department of Campus Safety and Police or stop at the Campus Safety Office prior to parking your vehicle for an escort to your residence hall.
With the availability, mobility and need to use computers in today’s environment issues arise to protect yourself and your computer. The tips below are offered as a guide to protecting yourself and your computer. More information on responsible computing can be obtained from the Office of Information Technology. (See Laptop Security)
- Consider how you choose and assign your passwords. When using programs where passwords are necessary you should consider using passwords that contain numbers and/or symbols along with letters. Create unique passwords and personal identification numbers (PINS) and avoid using easily available information such as mother’s maiden name, date of birth, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- Keep passwords complex, this will make it difficult for individuals to randomly select your password or using software for decoding passwords.
- Avoid using the same password for all password-protected programs.
- With the Internet use being high it is important that computer owners install virus protection programs on their computer. In addition it is recommended that you use a virus protection program that can be upgraded regularly. For information on computer viruses Internet users can get general information at http://securityresponse.symantec.com/, http://www.vmyths.com/, or http://www.cert.org/other_sources/viruses.html.
- When using the Internet you need to use some caution. When receiving electronic messages it is important to verify the sender as someone you know. Caution should be used when opening attachments. Your virus protection program will help with opening attachments.
- Purchases on the Internet make shopping easy and convenient. It is important that when you’re making purchases on the Internet you do so on secured websites. You should use extreme caution in how often you make purchases on the Internet.
- Although the site you may be making the purchase on is secured you need to keep in mind that once your information is placed into the Internet your information is available in the Internet world. Additionally your information could be stolen in the event that the site where your purchase was made could be hacked into and your information could be obtained. It is important that you check credit card monthly statements to make sure all purchases are authorized.
- To identify if the web site is allowing for a secure or encrypted transaction look for the following two features on the computer screen:
- An icon of a lock in the bottom strip of the web browser page
- The URL address for the Web page changes from http:// to https:// for the page at which you input your personal data.
- When you sign on to the Internet it is important you do so when nobody is able to observe your sign in process and steal your log in name/password. It is important that when you are done working on the Internet that you sign out immediately. This will prevent others from coming along and using your identity to send messages.
- When using the Internet or electronic messaging programs on public use computer it is important that you check the program preferences to verify that your login name and password is not being saved for future use.
- Individuals who have homepages and use away messages should use extreme caution in the information you provide in your messages. You may not know who may be reading your information and what there intentions may be.
- When you place personal information on the Internet you are providing this information to the general public. Some information you may want to avoid placing on the Internet is: age, date of birth, sex, marital status, schedules, and phone numbers. Additionally extreme caution should be used when posting photographs. Use extreme caution in what information you make available through the Internet in particular the information you post on the various social networking web sites.
- Make sure your data is backed up regularly. The value of the data you may lose if your computer is stolen may be worth more then the computer itself.
- Whether you use a laptop computer or a desktop unit it is recommended that you secure your unit at all times. There are various computer security devices commercially available. Some things to consider when purchasing these devices are:
- The type of computer it is being used on.
- The dependability/reputation of the device/company.
- Where you will be using the device.
- The flexibility and durability of the device. The computer should be attached in a manner that will prevent the unit from being carried away or in a way that would make it difficult for individuals to remove the unit with ease. Some devices will allow you to secure your computer to furniture legs. The device should be made of harden solid braided steel with a minimum thickness of 5mm.
- When deciding to purchase a key or combination lock, choose a manufacturer that has a key registration in case you lose the key or make sure the combination is one you can set on your own so that you have the protection of being the only one to know your combination.
- How accessible will your computer be to others?
- What is the value of your computer? Can you replace the information?
- Always lock your laptop and never leave your laptop unattended in a public place.
- Engrave your name or other information that identifies the computer as yours somewhere on the computer.
- Carry your laptop in an unassuming, well-padded bag to avoid the unwanted attention a traditional laptop bag or fancy leather briefcase can generate.
- Save a copy of your computer purchase receipt. Copy the serial number and description of your computer and place these documents in a safe place. This information will be necessary should you need to report your computer being stolen.
- In situations where your laptop may need to be placed through a security x-ray machine (for example in an airport), before you place your machine on the belt make sure you have a clear path to the end of the belt.
- Secure other products associated with your computer such as batteries, power cords, cables, fax/modem cards, external drives/storage devices, printers, cameras, and LCD projectors.
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name or personal information, such as your Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, telephone number or other account numbers or information, without your permission. Identity thieves’ use this information to open credit accounts, bank accounts, telephone service accounts, and make major purchases all in your name. Information can be used to take over your existing accounts, or to open new accounts. Identity theft can result in damage to your credit rating and denials of credit and job offers.
Identity theft commonly begins with the loss or theft of a wallet or purse. But there are many other ways that criminals can get and use your personal information in order to commit identity theft. Some other examples are:
- “Dumpster-divers” going through the trash looking for discarded information containing your name, address, phone number, utility service account numbers, credit card numbers, your social Security number, expired credit cards, and/or blank credit card applications.
- Email messages from what appears to be your Internet Service Provider (ISP) requesting that you update the information they have on file about you (i.e. your name, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, etc) by replying to the email or going to a specific Web site address to provide the information. However, neither the email nor the Web site is from or associated with your ISP.
While there is no guarantee that your identity will never be stolen, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk:
- Do not give your Social Security or credit card numbers to people or companies that you do not know, especially in cases you did not initiate the contact.
- Protect your paycheck and check stubs since your Social Security number may be on the check or stub.
- Before disclosing any personal information, make sure you know why it is required and how it will be used.
- Shred information that you no longer need that contains personally identifiable information, account numbers, or request personal identity information. For example, credit card receipts, billing statements, pre-approved credit card applications, ATM receipts.
- Guard your mail from theft. Promptly remove your mail from the mailbox and place outgoing mail in post office collection boxes. Using a locking mailbox properly may assist in preventing your mail from being stolen.
- Keep personal information you have at home, school or work in a safe place.
- Do not carry extra credit cards, your birth certificate, passport, or other cards that display your Social Security number in your wallet or purse except when necessary.
- Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies at least once a year. Review the reports to be sure no one else is using your identity to open new accounts or open accounts in your name.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards to the issuer immediately.
- Sign new credit cards immediately – before someone else does.
- Memorize your Social Security number and passwords, don’t carry them with you if it is unnecessary. Don’t use your date of birth as your password.
- Check expiration dates on credit cards and contact the issuer if you do not get a replacement card before they expire.
- Check monthly financial statements and bills and match credit card receipts where necessary for accuracy.
- Don’t leave receipts behind at ATM’s on counters of financial institutions, gasoline pumps, etc.
- When a carbon paper is used for a credit card purchase request the carbon paper so that you can discard it the same way as any other financial statements.
- Reduce the number of pre-approved credit card offers you will receive by calling 888-5OPTOUT.