October is Crime Prevention Month and nothing is more important than crime prevention for people of all ages, including college students, young adults, and folks of all ages. Blog4Safety’s main focus is safety; therefore, we want you to know how important your involvement in crime prevention is.
Crime Prevention Month has a long and proud history of community projects and events organized by and aimed at all members of the community – kids, teens, seniors, volunteers, business people, and people in the work place. Crime Prevention Month is dedicated to all the good work that has been done in crime prevention in the previous year and recognizes all those whose work has helped prevent crime before it happens and made our communities safer. But it also looks to the future – intended to motivate people to reach out, to think more, and do more to keep themselves, their neighbors, and their communities safe and stop crime in its tracks.
College students and young adults, who tend to be open to new ideas and great purposes, are ideal audiences for this message. To help make people aware of Crime Prevention Month, NCPC has prepared a sample Crime Prevention Month Proclamation that student body presidents, university deans and presidents, crime prevention and law enforcement personnel, civic leaders, and lawmakers can use to have October adopted as Crime Prevention month. Just go to www.celebratesafecommunities.org to get a copy.
There isn’t a single strategy solution that will work for all types of businesses and places of education, but potential risks of workplace violence should be identified and corrective measures implemented. Colleges and universities should investigate threatening situations reported by students, regardless of how trivial they may seem. Students should be encouraged to be observant and cautious as they go about their everyday activities.
For the fourth consecutive year, the National Crime Prevention Council, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice will mark Crime Prevention Month with Celebrate Safe communities (CSC) to unite people in a spirit of cooperation to keep their communities safe by preventing crime. CSC is open to holding events throughout the year, spreading the message that crime prevention is everyone’s business each day of the year. Some events are safety fairs, visits by McGruff, the Crime Dog, tours of fire departments, sheriff’s offices, police stations, and rescue demonstrations.
Protect America also is helping spread awareness of crime and crime prevention by supporting National Crime Prevention Month. Throughout October, government agencies and civic organizations will help educate the public while drawing attention to improvements in crime prevention. The ultimate goal of National Crime Prevention Month is to positively effect change at one of three levels: family, neighborhood, and community.
Protect America has long supported National Crime Prevention Month but the company is increasing its efforts to raise crime prevention awareness. While the larger crime rate has dropped nationally, reported instances of burglary have increased over the past year, according to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Burglary was the only category of crime that increased during 2011, the FBI reports.
October is also National Cyber Security Awareness Month, for the ninth straight year. For its part, the FBI is strengthening its cyber operations to sharpen its focus on the greatest cyber threats to national security: computer intrusions and network attacks. But every American who uses digital technologies at home or in the office can—and must—play a part in cyber security.
Are You the Weakest Link? Since last October, the threat has continued to grow even more complex and sophisticated. Just 12 days ago, in fact, FBI Director Robert Mueller said that “cyber security may well become our highest priority in the years to come.” For its part, the FBI is strengthening its cyber operations to sharpen its focus on the greatest cyber threats to national security: computer intrusions and network attacks. We are enhancing the technological capabilities of all investigative personnel and hiring additional computer scientists to provide expert technical support to critical investigations. We are creating two distinct task forces in each field office: Cyber Task Forces, focused on intrusions and network attacks that will draw on our existing cyber squads; and Child Exploitation Task Forces, focused on crimes against children. We are also increasing the size and scope of the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force—the FBI-led multi-agency focal point for coordinating and sharing cyber threat information to stop current and future attacks.
The FBI also runs several other cyber-related programs, including the Innocent Images National Initiative—which combats online child predators—and the Internet Crime Complaint Center—a partnership between the Bureau and the National White Collar Crime Center that serves as a clearinghouse for triaging cyber complaints and provides an easy-to-use online tool for reporting these complaints.
Because of the interconnectedness of online systems, every American who uses digital technologies at home or in the office can—and must—play a part in cyber security. For example, if you open a virus-laden e-mail attachment at work, you could infect your entire company’s computer network. Don’t be the weakest link: get educated on cyber safety.
Follow these basic steps for added security:
- Set strong passwords, and don’t share them with anyone.
- Keep a clean machine—your operating system, browser, and other critical software are optimized by installing regular updates.
- Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
- Limit the amount of personal information you post online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing too much information widely.
- Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ignore the emails that say you have won something; or inherited zillions of dollars—after you send them your banking info. Delete that message quickly!
Let’s all do our part to keep our neighborhoods and communities safe. Protect your valuable possessions, such as televisions, DVR’s and other electronics by marking and taking pictures of them in order to help identify them if stolen. Another safety tip: hanging a purse on the back of a chair in a restaurant is an open invitation for a pickpocket to help himself/herself. Find a safe way to secure it while you are enjoying your meal.
Source: Protect America; National Crime Prevention Council; and FBI