Protect Yourself From Violent Crime
A list of tips for adults on staying safe:
- Don’t walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when the streets are deserted.
- When out at night, try to have a friend walk with you.
- Carry only the money you’ll need on a particular day.
- Don’t display your cash or any other inviting targets such as pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry and clothing.
- If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Don’t be afraid to yell for help.
- Try to park in well-lighted areas with good visibility and close to walkways, stores, and people.
- Make sure you have your key out as you approach your door.
- Always lock your car, even if it’s in your own driveway; never leave your motor running.
- Do everything you can to keep a stranger from getting into your car or to keep a stranger from forcing you into his or her car.
- If a dating partner has abused you, do not meet him or her alone. Do not let him or her in your home or car when you are alone.
- If you are a battered spouse, call the police or sheriff immediately. Assault is a crime, whether committed by a stranger or your spouse or any other family member. If you believe that you and your children are in danger, call a crisis hotline or a health center (the police can also make a referral) and leave immediately.
- If someone tries to rob you, give up your property—don’t give up your life.
- If you are robbed or assaulted, report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.
Tips to Prevent Identity Theft:
Stay informed on how technology affects crime trends, and keep yourself safe from high-tech crimes.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft was the number one fraud complaint during calendar year 2008. And limiting your use of your personal computer may not help much: a study released by Javelin Strategy and Research reported that in 2009 most identity thefts were taking place offline, not online — just the opposite of what many folks might think. One other troubling finding: the study found that 43 percent of all identity thefts are committed by someone the victim knows.
It’s in the newspapers every day and on the news every night. People worry that someone will run up charges on their credit card or fleece their bank account while their back is turned. There is reason to worry. All a thief needs is your Social Security number to commit identity theft. This crime is relatively easy to commit, but investigating and prosecuting it is complex and time-consuming. But once you know the facts and some preventive measures you can take, you can win the fight against identity theft!
Identity thieves commit their crime in several ways:
They steal credit card payments and other outgoing mail from private, curbside mailboxes.
They dig through garbage cans or communal dumpsters in search of cancelled checks, credit card and bank statements, and preapproved credit card offers.
They hack into computers that contain personal records and steal the data.
They file a change of address form in the victim’s name to divert mail and gather personal and financial data.
To guard against identity theft, never give out your Social Security number. Treat it as confidential information.
Commit all passwords to memory. Never write them down or carry them with you.
When using an ATM machine, make sure no one is hovering over you and can see you enter your password.
When participating in an online auction, try to pay the seller directly with a credit card so you can dispute the charges if the merchandise does not arrive or was misrepresented. If possible, avoid paying by check or money order.
Adopt an attitude of healthy skepticism toward websites that offer prizes or giveaways. Chances are, all that’s been “won” is the opportunity to buy something you didn’t want in the first place.
Choose a commercial online service that offers parental control features.
Tell your children never to give out their address telephone number password school name or any other personal information.
Make sure your children know to never agree to meet face-to-face with someone they’ve met online without discussing it with you. Only if you decide that it’s okay to meet their “cyber-friend” should they arrange to meet this person, and then the meeting should be in a familiar public place in the presence of a trusted adult.
Tell your children never to respond to messages that have bad words, are scary, or just seem weird.
Tell your children never to enter an area that charges for services without asking you first.
Tell children never send a picture of themselves to anyone without your permission.
Make sure that access to the Internet at your children’s school is monitored by adults.
Disaster Preparedness: A Checklist:
____ Make a list of important phone numbers, such as nonemergency
numbers for the police and fire departments, FBI field office, and
local emergency management office, and post it by your telephone.Make sure children know how to dial 911 or “0” in an emergency.
____ Develop a communications plan for your family. Choose someone
who does not live with you (preferably out-of-town) that you and
other family members can contact to check on each other in the
event that you are separated during a disaster. Carry the number in
____ Establish a meeting place for family members
if home or neighborhood
evacuation is necessary. Pick one place near your home and one
outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return after a disaster.
____ Assemble an emergency preparedness kit that contains the following
__ three- to five-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
__ food that will not spoil and requires no cooking
__ first-aid kit and needed medicine
__ emergency tools, such as a battery-powered radio, cell phone,
__ extra batteries.
__ personal items like toilet paper and plastic garbage bags.
__ change of clothing and blankets for each person.
__ portable generator if possible.
____ Take a basic course in CPR and first-aid.
____ Learn how to turn off water, gas, and electricity at main switches.
____ Learn about emergency plans for your children’s school or day care
____ Draw a floor plan of your home and mark two escape routes from
each room. Practice your evacuation plan.
____ Know your community’s evacuation routes.
____ Work with your Neighborhood Watch group or civic association to
create a community disaster preparedness plan.