Personal Safety

At Home

  • Replace or re-key locks when you move into a new home or apartment. Install a door viewer and a 1-inch deadbolt lock and use them!
  • Require all strangers to show identification. If you haven't called a repairman, don't let one inside. Leave them waiting outside while you call the company they say they represent to verify the reason why they are in your area.
  • Don't let a stranger inside your home to use a phone; offer to make the call for them.
  • Never admit that you or a neighbor is home alone! For women living alone: use initials only on mailboxes and in telephone listings.
  • If you receive an obscene phone call, don't react - hang up!
  • When going out for the evening, turn on lights, a radio, or television to make your home or apartment appear occupied.
  • If you plan to be out of town for a few days, purchase an automatic timer for lights and have a trusted neighbor watch your home and pick up your mail and newspapers.


  • Avoid shopping alone. Use the buddy system whenever possible.
  • Shop before dark and park in well-lighted areas.
  • Do not keep packages in plain view in your vehicle or home.
  • Do not count cash in open areas, especially after leaving an ATM machine.
  • Keep your address and home number private. When stores request a phone number, give only your work number.
  • After making a credit card purchase, request the carbon copy and destroy it in private.
  • Have your keys in your hand before returning to your vehicle.

On the Computer

  • Shop only from well-established and reputable companies. Avoid auctions sites if you do not feel comfortable bidding.
  • Before you give your credit card information, take note of the icons that indicate that security software is in place to secure your purchase.
  • Print out and date a copy of all terms, conditions, warranties, item description, company information and confirming e-mails. Save this information as a record of your purchase.
  • Avoid computer viruses and unwanted access to your information by not accepting email from people you do not know.