Crime Reduction Advice

Guarding against theft

  • Avoid bringing items to work that are irreplaceable or have emotional value
  • Avoid leaving wallets, purses or mobile phones in unlocked drawers or unattended suit/coat pockets – these are easy targets
  • Pull your blinds closed at night if your office faces the street

Computer security

Keys and Access Control Cards

If you have responsibility for issuing these in your office:

  • make sure they are numbered and signed for when issued
  • at least annually, ask staff to produce the key(s) that they were originally issued
  • issue master keys only when absolutely necessary
  • contractors and cleaners should sign keys 'in' and 'out' on a daily basis.  If this is impractical, consider purchasing an automated key control cabinet.
  • carry out a regular audit on University access cards, and if an individual leaves your department remember to delete them from the system.

Be aware

Don’t make yourself a target of crime – always ensure that you:

  • keep your bag close to you with the opening securely closed and turned towards you
  • are discreet – talking on your mobile, wearing headphones or carrying a laptop all show thieves you have things worth taking
  • have your house keys ready so you can get in the front door quickly – carry them on you, not in your bag, and consider an attack alarm
  • plan your routes to avoid areas that you don’t know well
  • spread your possessions about – carry your money, keys and credit cards in separate places and don’t carry large amounts of cash
  • insure your valuables and register them on a site such as Immobilise

Property marking

Property marking, especially if clearly visible, makes your valuables less attractive to steal and much more likely to be recovered. We recommend the following property marking techniques:

  • Electronic marking and registration via Immobilise
  • UV pens are invisible to the naked eye – use them to mark your address on your valuables but remember to reapply regularly. Stickers that show your property is marked are also a deterrent.
  • Taking photos of your property can help prove it is rightfully yours and help with a criminal prosecution.
  • Postcode stencils are ideal for IT equipment, bikes and mobile phones.

For more information visit https://www.securedbydesign.com/ and https://www.soldsecure.com

Mobile phones

  • Lock the keypad using a PIN number or pattern code when you’re not using your phone, so it can’t be used to make calls or access your personal data, emails and social media accounts.
  • Use the property marking methods above to mark your phone and accessories so that it can be more easily returned to you if recovered.
  • Regularly back up your data, contacts and photos.
  • Every mobile phone has a unique IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity). To find it, dial *#06# and record the number that appears somewhere safe.

Data protection

Identity theft is the theft of your personal information, such as name, date of birth, and addresses. Criminals obtain the information they want by getting hold of personal mail, bank cards, passwords and login details, and can use them to commit identity fraud – the use of a stolen identity to obtain goods or services.

To help prevent identity theft and fraud:

  • check your bank balance and statements regularly to ensure everything is as you expect
  • if you move, ensure you promptly update your address with your bank
  • ensure you shred anything with you name and address on before throwing it away
  • beware of fraudsters posing as organisations such as banks: if you’re unsure of a caller’s identity or the source of an email, don’t respond until you’ve checked it out
  • report the loss of any important documents such as your passport or driving licence.

Visit https://www.infosec.ox.ac.uk/ and https://www.getsafeonline.org/ for advice on keeping your passwords safe, staying clear of phishing scams, and protecting your computer from hackers.

 
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