Brookhaven Services & Resources > Police Department > Crime Prevention - Privacy

Crime Prevention - Privacy

Crime Prevention Tips

Automobile Theft PreventionHome SecurityProtecting Your PrivacyIdentity Theft

The department maintains a crime prevention program for all faculty, staff and students. A crime prevention officer is available to provide class presentations on various crime-related issues such as date rape, domestic violence and personal safety. Crime prevention brochures are available at the Police Department and in 12 information kiosks throughout the campus.

Protecting Your Privacy:

A Word on PasswordsShopping in CyberspaceUsing ATMs, Long Distance Phone Services and Credit CardsProtect Your Personal Identification Number (PIN), Your Privacy, Your ATM Cards, and Your Credit CardsLost or Stolen Cards

These tips are from the pamphlet “Protecting Your Privacy, Keeping an Eye on Your Private Information,” that is distributed by the National Crime Prevention Council, 1700 K Street, NW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20006-3817. See, the Bureau of Justice Assistance Office of Justice Programs U.S. Department of Justice and ADT Security Services.

A Word on Passwords

Whether you are on the Internet or an online banking program, you are often required to use a password. The worst passwords to use are the ones that come to mind first–name, spouse’s name, maiden name, pets, children’s names, even street addresses, etc. The best passwords mix numbers with upper and lowercase letters. A password that is not found in a dictionary is even better. There are programs that will try every word in the dictionary in an effort to crack your security.

The weakest link in a security system is the human element. The fewer people who have access to your codes and passwords the better. Avoid breaks in your security by:

  • Changing your passwords regularly.
  • Memorizing your password.
  • Setting up a special account or setting aside a different computer at work for temporary help and unauthorized users.
  • If you have the option of letting your computer or a Web site remember your password for you, don’t use it.
  • Don’t send confidential, financial, or personal information on your e-mail system.

Shopping in Cyberspace

Ordering merchandise from the Internet is the trend of the future. You can prevent problems before they occur by:

  • Doing business with companies you know and trust.
  • Understanding the offer.
  • Using a secure browser that will encrypt or scramble purchase information.
  • Never give a bank account or credit card number or other personal information to anyone you don’t know or haven’t checked out.

Using ATMs, Long Distance Phone Services and Credit Cards

Protect Your Personal Identification Number (PIN)

  • Your PIN should be memorized, secured, and not given to anyone, not even family members or bank employees. The fewer people who have access to your PIN, the better.
  • Never write your PIN on ATM or long distance calling cards. Don’t write your PIN on a piece of paper and place it in your wallet. If your wallet and card are lost or stolen, someone will have everything they need to remove funds from your account, make unauthorized debit purchases, or run up your long distance phone bill.

Protect Your Privacy

  • Be aware of others waiting behind you. Position yourself in front of the ATM keyboard or phone to prevent anyone from observing your PIN.

Protect Your ATM Cards

  • An ATM card should be treated as though it were cash. Avoid providing card and account information to anyone over the telephone.
  • When making a cash withdrawal at an ATM, immediately remove the cash as soon as the machine releases it. Put the cash in your pocket and wait until you are in a secure location before counting it. Never use an ATM in an isolated area or where people are loitering.
  • Be sure to take your receipt to record transactions and match them against monthly statements. Dishonest people can use the receipt to get your account number. Never leave the receipt at the site.

Protect Your Credit Cards

  • Only give your credit card account number to make a purchase or reservation you have initiated. And never give this information over a cellular telephone.
  • Never give your credit card account number to someone else to use on your behalf.
  • Watch your credit card after giving it to store clerks to protect against extra imprints being made.
  • Destroy any carbons. Do not discard into the trash can at the purchase counter. Keep charge slips in a safe place.
  • Protect your purse or wallet, especially when travelling or in crowded situations.
  • Save all receipts, and compare them to your monthly statement. Report any discrepancies immediately!
  • Keep a master list in a secure place at home with all account numbers and phone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards.

Lost or Stolen Cards

  • Always report lost or stolen cards to the issuing company immediately. This limits any unauthorized use of your card and permits the company to begin the process of issuing a new card.

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