Personal Safety

Personal Safety Tips

Campus Safety is everyone’s responsibility.  It is important that we all take our personal safety seriously.  There are some actions you can take to reduce your chance of being a victim of crime.

Crime Prevention Tips

  • Stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings. Be aware and prepared.
  • Stand tall and walk confidently; do not show fear.
  • Trust your instincts.
    • If you do not feel comfortable in a place or situation, leave.
    • If you see suspicious activity or a person behaving suspiciously, notify police at 911 (emergencies or crimes in progress), 334-501-3100 (non-emergencies) or 334-246-1391 (tip line – text or call).
  • Establish a safe word with a friend that you can text to each other if you find yourself in trouble and can’t safely call for help.

Online Dating Tips

Here are some things to consider when dating online or using dating apps:

  • Be cautious about what personal information you share before you get to know someone.
  • Learn what you can about your potential date by doing an online or social media search.
  • Video chat before you meet up in person.
  • Tell a friend where you are going, with whom, and when you expect to be home.
  • Meet in a public place.
  • Use your own transportation so you are in control of where you go and when you leave.
  • Trust your instincts and leave the situation if you’re uncomfortable.

 

For more detailed tips, visit https://www.rainn.org/articles/online-dating-and-dating-app-safety-tips.

Ridesharing Safety Tips

  • Before you get into the vehicle, ensure the license plate, make, model and color of the vehicle match what is show in the Uber or Lyft app.
  • Ask the driver, “What’s my name?” If the driver does not say your name, DO NOT get into the vehicle.
  • Download the Auburn Safety app to quickly call 911 during an emergency.
  • Share trip details with a friend by using the Friend Walk feature in the Auburn Safety app.
  • Trust your instincts. If it does not feel right, cancel the ride.
  • Use the Night Security Shuttle between 6 pm – 7 am for a safe ride on-campus.

Protecting Yourself Away from Home

  • Walk or jog with one or more friends. Avoid jogging after dark. If you must jog at night, stay in well-lit, well-traveled areas and do not go alone.
  • Carry a whistle and don’t hesitate to use it to alert others you need help. Vary your pattern frequently.
  • Don’t wear ear buds when jogging or biking, or at least leave one ear open so you can hear what’s going on around you. Ear buds and headphones significantly reduce your ability to hear and thus affect your awareness.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged before you go out, in case you need to use it to call for help.
  • Don’t fight back if your purse or wallet is snatched. Throw it in one direction and run in the other rather than risk personal injury. Call the police immediately at 911.
  • Be careful when and where you patronize ATM machines. Accessing ATM cash machines in remote locations, particularly at night, could increase your risk of robbery and personal injury. While you are standing at the machine, keep turning around and scanning for people approaching you or loitering around.
  • Avoid working or studying alone in a building other than your residence at night.
  • Stand and walk tall with a brisk, purposeful stride. Make brief eye contact with someone who makes you feel uneasy to let them know that you see them and are not afraid, but don’t stare too long or prolong your glance.
  • Trust your instincts.

Protect Yourself While Driving

While driving, if you believe someone is trying to intentionally cause an accident, follow you, or impersonate a police officer:

  • Call 911 immediately and stay on the line until help arrives.
  • Try to get to a safe location before pulling over (well-lit, highly populated area such as a police station, store, or other public place) if safe to do so.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings so you can provide a good description of your location.
  • Try to get as much information as possible about the other vehicle and its direction of travel if it leaves the area.

Protecting Yourself at Home

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times, even if you are only away for a few minutes. Do not “prop open” doors in residence halls.
  • Be assertive and demand that any unwanted person in your residence leave, or leave yourself. Anyone who refuses to leave is a trespasser.
  • Make sure hallways, entrances, garages, and grounds are well lit. Leave porch lights on all night. Keep blinds and curtain shut after dark and never dress in front of a window.
  • On campus, immediately report exterior lights that are out to Facilities Management on main campus. Off campus, immediately report exterior lighting problems to the management of your apartment complex or landlord.
  • When you expect to return after dark, leave an interior light on with the shades drawn.
  • Know who is at your door before you open it. Campus staff members carry identification, and solicitors are not allowed on campus. Require proper identification from any repair or utility personnel. If you live off campus, install a peephole in your front door.
  • Do not open your door to strangers or let them in. If they need assistance and ask to use your phone, make the phone call for them.
  • If you are going out of town, do not state you are away or when you will return on your voice mail recording, e-mail automated reply, or social media networks.
  • Get to know your neighbors. If you live off campus, join a neighborhood watch system and share information on suspicious circumstances.
  • When you go home on breaks, have someone pick up your mail, newspaper, etc. Install timers and leave on all outside lights. Make your residence appear “lived in.”
  • If you come home and see a broken window or a jimmied door, don’t go inside. Confronting a burglar can be dangerous. Phone police immediately at 911.

Protecting Yourself at Work

  • Avoid working or studying alone in a building at night.
  • When working late, make sure doors are locked.
  • Keep your purse in a locked cabinet or drawer. Never leave it on or underneath a desk.
  • Avoid using stairs in remote sections of the building.
  • Do not hold the door open for strangers after normal business hours.
  • Ask people you don’t recognize if you can help them.
  • Report suspicious activity to police. 911 for emergencies and crimes in progress; or appropriate non-emergency contacts.
  • Be careful what you leave on your desk and on your computer screen when you step away from your desk.
  • Keep passwords in secure places.

Protecting Your Property

  • Lock your vehicle and residence at all times, even when you’re in them.
  • Move valuables out of view from windows and doors.
  • Don’t mark your key chain with your name, address and/or license number. Lost keys can lead to theft. Take care of keys; don’t give anyone the chance to duplicate them.
  • Copy all important papers and cards that you carry in your purse or wallet, including your driver’s license. Keep the copies in a safe place. The information will be invaluable if anything is stolen or lost.
  • Copy your vehicle ID and tag number. If your vehicle is stolen, it cannot be entered into the nationwide law enforcement network without this information.

Have a Plan

It is very important for you to have a plan in case someone tries to steal your bag, attack you from behind, or your car breaks down at night, etc. Knowing how you would handle situations if you should ever have to face an attacker could save your life. Always be on your guard, pay attention to your surroundings, trust your instincts and report suspicious activity to the police. If you have a cell phone, keep it with you at all times so you can call for help if needed.

Auburn Safety App

A personal safety app, Auburn Safety, is available at no cost to Auburn University students and employees. This app allows students to have their friends monitor their location temporarily (“Friend Walk”) or send messages about general safety or security concerns to Campus Safety & Security. Simply download the Auburn Safety app for iPhone or Android. For emergencies and crimes in progress, students or employees should always dial 911 as opposed to sending a message through the Auburn Safety app. The app also includes useful information such as emergency guidelines and resources for sexual assault and other interpersonal violence.

Last updated: 10/30/2019