Personal Safety


  • Always tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and think about how you would defend yourself. Develop a game plan for prevention.
  • Know where the telephones are located. Know how to dial emergency numbers.
  • Avoid walking alone, particularly after dark.
  • Stay on well lighted, well-peopled paths. Isolated spots on campus can compromise your safety.
  • Walk with confidence and determination, holding your head up. Frequently check your surroundings.
  • Avoid shortcuts. The shortest route is not always the safest route.
  • Dress for mobility, particularly after dark.
  • Carry your personal belongings in a backpack or similar container that will enable your arms and hands to be free at all times.
  • Never allow someone to predict your route of travel.
  • Whether you are driving, biking, walking or jogging, frequently alter your route between campus and your residence.
  • Do not get close to a vehicle if you are walking.
  • Do have your car keys out and ready when approaching your automobile.
  • Do make an inspection of the interior before you enter your vehicle. Once inside, lock all doors and windows and roll up windows completely.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Do not hesitate to report unusual behavior to police and notify the appropriate personnel if there is any breach of security around campus.
  • Do not leave a child younger than seven years of age unattended in a vehicle.

At Home

  • Have lights in all entrances.
  • Have good locks on all doors and windows.
  • Do not use your full name on your mailbox, in the phone directory or on your answering machine.
  • If you live alone, do not let strangers know. Invent a roommate or big dog.
  • Know which of your neighbors you can trust in an emergency.
  • Check who is at the door before opening it, and do not open the door to an unexpected visitor.
  • Do not hide extra keys in easily accessible places. Criminals will find them.
  • Consider creating a safe-room with a separate telephone line or cellular phone and strong locks. If someone breaks in, you can retreat there, with children, and call for help.
  • Do not let strangers into your home to use the phone. Offer to make the call for them.

In Your Vehicle

  • Take your keys, lock your car and never hide a spare key on a vehicle.
  • Never leave your car running while it is unattended.
  • Keep all valuables and packages which may tempt a thief out of sight.
  • Vehicle with equipment brand decals in plain view are targeted.
  • Vehicles that have after-market stereo equipment are more often burglarized.
  • Park in well lighted areas after dark.
  • Use auto theft deterrents such as car alarms, steering column devices and kill switches.
  • Have a record of your vehicle's license plate number and VIN, and keep it in your billfold or wallet.
  • Keep a log of all equipment names, model numbers and serial numbers.
  • If your car is stolen, call the police immediately. Quick action often results in recovery of your vehicle as well as prevention of another crime.

Road Rage Incidents

  • Drive the posted speed limit.
  • Remain calm and controlled; do not drive mad.
  • Do not tailgate or cut off other drivers.

If confronted by an aggressive driver:

  • Avoid eye contact with the driver.
  • Ignore the driver's obscene gestures.
  • Move into another lane and let the driver pass.
  • Do not get involved in a verbal altercation.
  • Write down the license plate number.
  • Report road rage incidents to the campus police or to the local police department agency.

Con Artists

Remember that con artists are clever actors appearing friendly and trustworthy. When faced with the real thing, we can be fooled in person or on the telephone. Con artists only want one thing from you: your money.

  • Do not fall for anything that sounds too good to be true: a free vacation, sweepstakes prizes or a low-risk, high-yield investment scheme.
  • Never give your credit card, phone card, Social Security or bank account numbers to anyone over the phone. It is illegal for telemarketers to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or a gift.
  • Do not let anyone rush you into signing anything: an insurance policy, a sales agreement or a contract. Read it carefully and have someone you trust check it over.
  • If you are suspicious, check it out with the police, the Better Business Bureau, or your local consumer protection office. Call the National Consumer League Fraud Information Center at 800-876-7060.
  • Contact the Public Utility Commission of Texas and place yourself on the "Texas No Call List" for a small fee.

Updated January 20, 2023