Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Thursday, December 10, 2020

By Kevin Brunelle, Director, Security

The Valencia College Safety and Security department wishes everyone a safe and secure holiday season.

This is a very special time of year for many. It’s a time for family, friends and festivities. However, it’s also a time when busy people forget to be cautious about their personal safety and property. As a result, people can become victims of burglaries, thefts, frauds and con-games, and criminals thrive on unsuspecting and innocent victims.

Don’t make it easy for the thieves! Lock it or lose it! And use these crime prevention tips from the Valencia College Safety and Security team for remaining safe and secure from holiday crime:

Protecting Yourself and Your Valuables 

  • Give your home an occupied appearance by leaving various lights on or placing them on a timer. You can also now add smart systems to many phone applications and control remotely.
  • Don’t carry your keys in your purse. Carry them in your pocket or hand.
  • Always lock your car, and never leave the keys in the car even if you’re only going to be gone a few seconds.
  • Let a trusted neighbor know if you’re going to be gone for longer periods. Many police departments will add your residence on an extra-watch if contacted.
  • Don’t use short cuts through alleys or walkways. Always take well-lit and traveled areas. If possible, walk in pairs or groups.
  • Always keep one hand free for potential emergencies. Have a whistle or car alarm ready to activate. Predators usually take flight once attention is drawn to a situation.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Scan the area around parked vehicles and while walking to and from stores and your home.
  • Shop with friends or relatives.
  • If you must take a purse, carry it cross body, close to your person with the clasp nearest you.
  • Cash should be carried in your pants’ front pocket. Do not display large sums of cash.
  • Never leave your purse in a shopping cart or upon a counter unattended while you shop.
  • When returning to your auto or home, have your keys in your hand ready and scan the area.
  • Transfer valuables to the trunk of your auto before you reach your destination.
  • Use the panic or alarm button on your key chain if you feel fearful or suspicious.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view in your automobile.
  • Be alert for suspicious persons loitering in parking lots. Report them and don’t proceed. Change your course of action. If you see someone loitering, ask for a security escort to your car.
  • Lock your doors immediately upon entering your vehicle and always drive with your doors locked.

Protecting Against Fraud

  • Never give your personal information over the phone unless you are initiating the purchase.
  • Cover key pads when entering pin numbers at bank ATM’s or points of sale stations.
  • Never deposit a check or give money with a promise to receive money in return.
  • Never provide your credit card information over the phone unless you place the order.
  • Only use secure Wi-Fi networks.
  • Be aware of people around you when entering passwords.
  • Never pay for work in advance.
  • Keep your devices clean by making sure your internet-connected devices are free from malware and infections by running the most current versions of software and applications.
  • Avoid making purchases via public Wi-Fi.
  • Create unique password/passphrases for all accounts and use multifactor authentication wherever possible.
  • Beware of fraudulent e-commerce sites and never click on a link. It’s recommended that you go directly to the actual internet site.
  • Use credit cards for online shopping purchases rather than a bank card.

Safety touches all aspects of our lives. We encourage you to use of these crime prevention methods and safety techniques in a spirit of cooperation between the Valencia College Safety and Security team and the students, faculty, staff and visitors we serve.

If you have any questions, contact the Safety and Security management team. They collectively have over a hundred years of experience combatting crime. No one should ever be victimized.

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