Most people do not realize how easily criminal elements can obtain personal data without ever entering our homes or place of business. Many times we make it easy to obtain our personal data by throwing away rather than shredding our personal checks, bank statements, or credit card bills. There may be enough public information via the internet to compromise your personal information such as social security numbers, birth dates etc.
Be careful when giving out your social security number, credit card or other account information. Never give this information to someone who calls you unless you are certain who they are and that they legitimately need this information. Do not include such information in emails, text messages or other electronic messages. When using ATM’s or entering PIN at the cash register, carefully shield the key pad and your hand movements so others can not see the number or the number pattern.
We recommend that you use the Department of Public Safety’s property registration system to record the serial number of valuable property such as bikes, computers etc. This will make it easier to recover your property if it is stolen while you are on campus.
To register your bicycle or computer with the Department of Public Safety, complete a registration form at the public safety building (1735 East South Campus Drive. Salt Lake City, UT 84112)
It’s wise to keep a scrapbook for valuable property where you record the make, model and serial number of the property. You might also consider storing the receipt for warranty purposes. It is also a good idea to include a photograph showing the item in your home or with you by the property. If the insurance company requests prove of ownership, then you have a photograph of you with the property.
One thing you can do to increase your chances of recovering stolen property is to record the make, model and serial number of your property in the police report. This information can be entered into the Nationwide Crime Information Center (NCIC). With this information in the NCIC database; any police department within the nation can check found or recovered property to see if it is stolen–and if it is, contact the agency making the report to facilitate the possible return of the property. Without the serial number it is very unlikely the property will be returned to you.
TIPS FOR LOSS PREVENTION:
- All campus phones can access emergency services by dialing 9-911.
- Report suspicious persons or activities to University Police at 801-585-2677.
- Report safety hazards, unsafe lighting, and defective equipment to the Department of Public Safety, Plant Operations (581-7221), or Risk Management (581-5590).
- Know where you are, know where you are going and what to expect.
- Avoid walking alone and let people know where you are going.
- Plan your walking trips in advance and choose a safe well-lighted and populated route.
- Remember, most crime is committed in response to the opportunity, so the best prevention is to eliminate opportunities.
- Keep your residence doors locked at all times whether you live on or off campus.
- Lock up wallets, purses, jewelry, and other valuables. Don’t just put them in or under your desk.
- Limit or restrict access to your living or work area.
- Develop a relationship with neighbors or coworkers and check on one another often.
- When posting photographs and information on the Web consider the information that you might unwittingly be giving a predator such as your name, your appearance, addresses, school names etc.
- Do not give personal information (Account numbers, Social Security number, PIN etc) to anyone unless you know they are legitimately entitled to have such information.
- Back up computer data. If a computer is stolen, the loss of the data on the computer is very often more interruptive to you and potentially more valuable than the loss of the computer. Set up a routine for backing the data and be faithful in keeping to it. Store the back-up off away from the computer, preferably off site. Consider password protecting documents containing personal information.
- Protect files; email, financial accounts, and other accounts with strong passwords. Strong passwords are not found in a dictionary; contain a mixture of characters and are not easily identified.You might consider a sentence that is easy for you to remember and use a combination of characters from that sentence. For example the sentence might be: As a student I lived @ 756 Main St. Using the first letter of each word and the numbers the password becomes aasIl@756MS. Be careful not to reveal the password or the sentence to anyone.