Take care out there: Heed these tips for campus safety

The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators offers these top safety tips to students. (Courtesy www.iaclea.org)

1. Make the call. Program the number of your university’s police department into your phone so you have it at your fingertips in an emergency on campus. If you see a crime in progress or even something suspicious, don’t hesitate, make the call.

2. Empower yourself. Enroll in a self-defense course. Sign up with a friend and empower yourself. These courses are designed to give you the tools that may help save your life.

3. Don’t walk alone. Walk with friends or classmates, especially at night.

4. Protect your property. Never leave items like your backpack, laptop or phone unattended, even for a minute. Make it a habit to take these valuables with you.

5. Report solicitors. Magazine subscriptions, donation requests, spa packages and earn-money-now schemes are some of the common methods criminals use to take your money. Avoid solicitors’ scams by politely saying no and immediately notifying university police. Never provide a solicitor with your personal information.

7. Grab it. Close it. Lock it. University parking lots are common targets for thieves. Never leave valuables in your car or leave items in plain view. Take items like GPS devices, removable stereo faceplates and electronics with you. Make sure your windows are up and the doors are locked. Apply a security device or set the alarm.

8. Keep personal information private. Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft by carrying only the necessary items in your wallet or purse. Don’t give personal information to solicitors.

9. Keep your dorm locked. Even if you’re going next door to a friend’s room, always grab your keys and lock the door. A propped open door is a perfect target for would-be thieves and allows them quick and easy access to your belongings. If your room has additional doors and windows, always be sure they are closed and locked as well.

10. Protect your wheels. If you have a bike, invest in a high-quality, hardened steel Ulock. For optimum security, lock both the front and frame to the bike rack.