Campus Departments Work to Ensure Student Safety

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Campus Departments Work to Ensure Student Safety

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For new students, campus can sometimes be intimidating; particularly at night. Crime happens everywhere and campus is no exception, but there are several departments at the U dedicated to the safety of students, faculty and staff. In addition to campus police, there are departments that specifically deal with emergencies such as active shooter situations or natural disasters, as well as departments that take care of information security.

Jeffrey Graviet, Director of Emergency Management at the U, said that students should “take personal responsibility for their preparedness and safety by having a plan, getting a kit and being informed.” In order to do this, students can download the U Heads-Up app, which contains guidelines for things like fires, earthquakes, medical emergencies, acts of violence or bomb threats. The app also sends notifications to students in case of emergencies or drills, and allows students to submit photos or comments in regard to non-emergency safety concerns.

Graviet also said students should go to emergencymanagement.utah.edu to watch videos and view other instructions. He “[encourages] all students to watch the videos ‘Shots Fired on Campus’ and ‘Evacuation Education’” so they can know what to do in the event of a serious emergency.

When it comes to information and online safety, Chief Information Security Officer Daniel Bowden has four main tips. First, devices like phones and laptops should be kept within reach or “stored under lock and key.”

Second, devices should be protected by PIN numbers or encryption. Bowden’s third tip deals with email security, because “an overwhelming majority of successful cyber-attacks are perpetrated via email.” Don’t open emails from unknown or unexpected senders and don’t open unknown files or links. “If [an] email from an unknown party attempts to sound important, find an alternative trusted manner to contact the sender,” he said. He further recommends that students be careful about emails which try to “provoke an emotional response” in order to convince the recipient to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do.

Lastly, citing scams involving calls or emails purportedly from government agencies like the FBI, IRS or Immigration Service, Bowden said that “threatening email or phone calls from anyone should be treated suspiciously.” True communication from such organizations would come by more official means. In April of this year, the FBI released a statement noting a wave of these scams and stating that “federal agencies do not call or e-mail individuals threatening them to send money.”

Between these tips and the work done by those employed by the U to ensure safety on campus, students, faculty and staff have little to worry about in regard to their safety here.

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@EliseAbril