When moving away for college, you as well as your parents want to make sure that you are safe. Personal safety is always of top priority in these conversations, but what about the safety of your belongings? In today’s world, nearly everyone has expensive belongings on them in their day to day lives. Smart phones, laptops, bluetooth earbuds, smart watches, etc. are all items that many of us have, and many of us need to function on a regular basis.
College students are often a target by people looking to steal these expensive items, with property crimes a common crime on college campuses throughout the country. Offenses like robbery, burglary, and theft are frequent reported crimes, with burglary being the most common. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2016, there were 12,000 burglaries, constituting 42 percent of all criminal instances.
While it isn’t possible for you to ditch your expensive stuff, there are a few different ways to protect not only your items, but yourself from being a target. Are you currently a college student living on or nearby campus? Looking for ways to ensure that your things will be safe? Here are five helpful tips to help you protect your stuff!
Lock your doors
Though a very obvious tip, its a necessary and simple one that will help you keep your belongings secure. When living in a dorm or even university apartment building, you become familiar with the people on your floor and building, which can make you comfortable with leaving your doors unlocked or even open. Though not all of your new college friends are thieves, its still important to look out for yourself and your stuff while living somewhere unfamiliar. By locking your doors and windows, you have an extra layer of protection that thieves have to maneuver through, making it difficult to access your things.
Insure valuable items
While you may be doing everything you can to prevent someone from stealing your expensive laptop or your bluetooth speaker, sometimes thieves can still get their hands on your stuff regardless. Purchasing insurance for certain valuable items that you own can help you either get money back for the total the item cost or even have it replaced in the case that it was stolen. Taking the step to get some of your belongings insured doesn’t prevent a burglary from happening, but it does help you protect your things if it does. In a blog by AllState, they suggest, “If your parents have a homeowners insurance policy, see if your belongings are covered by their policy.” Additionally, if your parents homeowners insurance does not cover your belongings, you may need to consider purchasing renters insurance. GradGuard, a leader in tuition and renters insurance, is a great choice if you are considering renters insurance, as their policy covers belongings such as: clothing, electronics, bicycles, books, etc.
Leave certain stuff at home
When we leave for college, we’re determined to bring all of our favorite belongings with us. After all, having more things from home makes your dorm feel more like home, right? While this may be true, having all of your favorite items from home (especially expensive ones) may not be the best choice after all. If you feel that your things might be vulnerable, consider leaving some of your favorites at home, such as your game console, pricey jewelry or clothing, etc. Ultimately, you’ll be able to sleep peacefully knowing some of your precious items are tucked away safely in your childhood bedroom.
Get locks for expensive items
Purchasing locks for your expensive belongings is another additional step you can take to ensure the safety of your stuff. Granted, not everything can be protected with a lock, but a lot of your pricer things can be. A safe box is a great option to store your most precious and valued items, such as your laptop, treasured jewelry, extra cash, bluetooth earbuds, handheld gaming consoles, etc. Steve Evans of Safe Bee notes, “They’re available in sizes that will fit in a closet or under your desk. Get one that’s heavy enough so it’s not easily carried by someone in a hurry. If you’re allowed to bolt the plate to the floor, that’s your safest bet. Otherwise, secure the box with a cable lock.”
Update your passwords (Cyber Security)
While this doesn’t fall under the category of physical belongings, your digital information is always at risk, and is at a particularly higher risk while in college. Public Wi-Fi, sharing documents through cloud services, passwords for student accounts, etc. can all contribute to being targeted for phishing scams and cyber theft. Be sure to avoid saving your passwords, address or credit card information, etc. in browsers, as they can be easily hacked. Change your passwords constantly for important student accounts and make sure your passwords are unique and cannot be figured out!
Being away from home can be scary and make you feel like your belongings don’t have a permanent home. This vulnerability takes time to get used to, but there are also simple ways to ensure your stuff is safe and has a proper place in your new home away from home!