Unfortunately, criminals sometimes do not target property, but target people instead. Make sure you take steps to try and prevent these types of crimes from happening to you.
Protecting Yourself Within Your Residence:
- Keep your doors locked, even when you are within the residence. Don't allow anyone in until you know who that person is. If the person claims to be residence hall maintenance or a utility worker, verify that by asking for identification. People who have legitimate reasons to be there should not hesitate to provide proper ID.
- If you have an answering machine, don't put your names on your recording. Also, if you and your roommates are female, consider having a male friend leave your outgoing message on your machine.
- If you are receiving threatening or obscene phone calls, contact the OSP/DPS Dispatch Center at 7-3010 or 541-737-3010 if you live on campus or the local police if you live off campus.
- If you notice a person attempting to gain entry to your residence or attempting to look into your residence, call OSP/DPuS if you live on campus at 7-7000 or 541-737-7000 or the Corvallis Police Department at 911 if you live off campus. Be prepared to give a description of the person, report where you last saw the person and the direction he or she was headed in at the time.
- When walking alone, body language is important, don't behave like a victim.
- Walk with confidence and alertness. Remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Keep your head up and your posture erect.
- Maintain a brisk, confident pace.
- Should a stranger approach you, look at them for three to five seconds as you walk by.
- If approached by someone asking directions, give them from a distance, if at all.
- If someone is following you, look at them (so you can identify them) then change directions.
- Vary the route you take when walking around campus.
- Never prop open doors to buildings.
- Become familiar with the location of the lighted corridors on campus, the blue light emergency phone locations, the yellow security phones at the entrances of residence halls, and the late hour/24 hour buildings on campus.
- Take advantage of Saferide, the Campus Shuttle, and the Department of Public Safety's Personal Safety Escort.
Personal Security at the Office/Library/Labs:
- Never leave your purse, backpack or briefcase in plain view.
- Personal property should be marked with your driver's license number.
- Don't leave cash or valuables at the office.
- If you work alone before/after normal business hours, keep the office door locked.
- If you work late, try to find another worker or call for an escort when exiting the building.
- Be alert for pickpockets on crowded elevators.
- Be aware of escape routes for emergencies and post phone numbers of the campus police near telephones.
- Be extra careful in stairwells and isolated or poorly lit restrooms.
- In an elevator, stand near the controls and locate the emergency button.
- If you are assaulted while in an elevator hit the emergency or alarm button and press as many floor buttons as possible.
- NEVER hit the STOP button.
Personal Safety In Your Vehicle:
- Park in well lit, busy areas. Avoid dark, secluded areas.
- Avoid parking beside high-profile vehicles such as trucks, trucks with campers, and vans.
- Always lock your car, even if you are in it at the time.
- When approaching your vehicle, have your keys ready, but don't thread them through your fingers. Make sure you don't have to stand by your car fumbling for your keys.
- As you approach your car, be aware of other people around. If you see someone loitering near your car, do not go to it; instead walk to an area where there are other people.
- About 30 feet away from your vehicle, glance underneath it and any adjacent vehicles.
- Before you enter your car, check the back seat and make sure no intruder is in the car waiting for you.
- Don't leave personal property in your vehicle.
- If you have to leave items, lock them in the trunk.
- Never leave mail visible in the vehicle.
- It's recommended that women purchase an inexpensive "masculine" item to leave visible in their vehicles.
- If you see another motorist stranded on the road, do not stop to help. Drive to the nearest phone and notify the police.
- While driving, keep valuables out of sight and not on the seat next to you.
- Consider getting a cell phone so you can call for assistance in an emergency.
- If you become stranded in your car and someone offers help, stay in your car and ask him or her to call the police. Do not accept help from the police unless they are in uniform and driving a marked patrol car.
- If your car is carjacked, give the carjacker your car. Your life and health are worth more than the car.
- If you think you are being followed, never drive to your home.
Protecting Yourself Against Stalking:
In recent years society has become more aware of the dangers of stalking. Stalking, under Oregon law, is repeated harassment that could or does cause the victim to feel intimidated, threatened or frightened. While it is difficult to prevent stalking from occurring, you can take steps to prevent it from continuing.
- If you are a victim of stalking, report this to the local police department, even if you don't know if you will be filing charges.
- Gather information to help your case, such as taped recordings of threatening phone calls, license plate State/Number and vehicle description of an suspicious vehicle following you, physical description and a detailed listing of any contacts the stalker makes with you.
- Follow up in court. Take out an anti-stalking order at your local circuit court and or file a civil lawsuit against the stalker for damages resulting from the stalker's behavior.
- If the stalking continues after the anti-stalking order has been sent, contact the police.
- No method of crime prevention is guaranteed to work 100% of the time. However, in taking these steps, you are removing opportunity from would be criminals, and you will be less likely to be victimized.
Personal Information Security:
Guard your personal information which could be used to gain services by creating fraudulent credit accounts or false identification. Think very carefully before giving any of the following information to strangers:
- Your credit card number or expiration date, unless you know the company is reputable.
- Your checking account number or ATM personal identification number.
- Your telephone calling card number.
- Your social security number. Only give this out if it is legally required.
- Your driver's license number.
- Health information, such as your insurance, medical or mental health history and your current physician.
- Information about your home security system, including whether you have one installed or your code to the system itself. Information about those who live with you or whether you live alone.
- Your age or age category.
- Financial information, such as your annual income, mortgage or financial institution.
- Personal family information, i.e. mother's maiden name.
Always keep track of instances when you have given out personal information.
Protecting Yourself When You Are Out & About:
Women should carry money somewhere other than their purses. Men should carry their wallets in an inside coat pocket or a front pants pocket. If you carry a purse, backpack or briefcase, hold it securely between your arm and your body.
- Always be alert and aware of the people around you, especially if you are alone or it's dark. Walk confidently at a steady pace. Thieves are more likely to single out those who appear hesitant or unsure of themselves.
- Don't be flashy. Expensive clothes and jewelry can make you a target for thieves.
- Walk close to the curb. Avoid shortcuts through dark, secluded areas. Stay where other people are around. Avoid doorways, bushes and alleys where someone could hide.
- Whenever possible, travel with a friend. If you're on campus you can call for an escort between dusk and dawn by dialing 7-3010 from any campus phone. If you jog, don't do so alone.
- Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street; continue walking.
- When walking to your house or car, have your keys ready so you will spend as little time as possible in the open.
- If you are being harassed, loudly say, "Leave me alone!" If that doesn't stop the harassment, continue to attract people's attention and head towards a store or another place where other people are around.
- If you're confronted, give up your valuables. Nothing is as important as your life.
- Try to stay out of arm's reach of the attacker. Don't let the attacker move you into an alley or car. Your best defense if the attacker persists is to yell and run.