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General Theft Prevention Tips

Theft prevention is a priority for everybody.

The most commonly-reported thefts involve unattended items. Removing the opportunity for thieves to take your belongings can greatly reduce these crimes from occurring.

Keep your stuff safe


  • Do keep your belongings in sight and within arm’s reach when in public.
  • Do ask someone you know and trust to watch over your belongings if necessary, but it’s best to bring things with you.
  • Do pack as lightly as possible and keep valuables at home unless you absolutely need them. Thieves are more likely to target people whose valuables are out in the open. If you must carry valuables, keep them hidden as much as possible when in public.
  • Do pay attention to your surroundings when accessing and using valuables such as cash or electronic devices. If possible, find a safe area to access your valuables.


  • Don’t ever leave belongings unattended. It takes just a second for someone to grab something!
  • Don’t fall asleep in public areas.
  • Don’t set your items down while photocopying, printing, using the washroom, etc. as you may forget them.

Protect your electronic devices


  • Do password-protect all your electronic devices and consider encrypting the data. If your device is stolen and does not have a password, your personal information will be vulnerable.
  • Do keep a record of the serial numbers of your devices. This may help to recover the device in the event of a theft.
  • Do note any scratches, dents or damage on your device that could help identify it.
  • Do consider installing tracking and data recovery/erase software.
  • Do back up data regularly so you don’t lose all your files.


  • Don’t get distracted with your cellphone or other electronic devices when in public. This may leave you vulnerable to a snatch and grab. Pay attention to your surroundings and remain alert.
  • Don’t lend your cell phone, tablet or laptop computer to strangers.

What to do if you've witnessed a theft or been a victim of theft

Step 1: Report it to Ryerson Security and Emergency Services

If you witness a theft or are a victim of theft on campus, be sure to report it to Ryerson Security and Emergency Services at 416-979-5040 or extension 5040 from any internal campus telephone.

Step 2: Notify your service provider

If your mobile device (cell phone or tablet with data) has been stolen, notify your service provider immediately so they can put a temporary hold on your plan.

Step 3: Change your passwords

If your mobile device, computer or tablet has been stolen, consider changing all passwords so that sensitive information like your email or banking accounts can’t be accessed.

Additional resources

Students are encouraged to visit the Centre for Student Development and Counselling for additional support resources:



Location: Jorgenson Hall, JOR-07-C

Phone: 416-979-5195

Download the free Ryerson Mobile App to your smartphone to contact security and access many other useful university features.

Download a copy of these General Theft Prevention Tips (PDF) to take with you.

Contact us

In case of an emergency on campus

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Contact Ryerson Security and Emergency Services at
416-979-5040 or dial 80 from any internal phone

Security and Emergency Services

Location: 111 Bond Street
Phone: 416-979-5040
Fax: 416-979-5380

Integrated Risk Management Office

Location: 11th Floor, Jorgenson Hall
Phone: 416-979-5000 ext. 7096
Hours: Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Risk Strategy Office

Phone: 416-979-5062