Dorm Security: How to Protect Your Stuff on Campus

November 3rd, 2016

By Jane Hurst

We hear all kinds of stories about campus thefts, and you do not want to become a victim of this, or any other crime. This is why you need to take steps to make sure that you, and your things, are protected. Most students aren’t in a financial position to just be able to go out and replace everything, and often, their parents can’t do it either. You may or may not be covered under your parents’ homeowners’ policy. So, here are some tips that you can use to protect your stuff on campus.

  1. Register Everything – Before you leave home, make sure that you register any of your expensive items. Take photos, and register any serial numbers on electronics. Keep the records at home so they are in a safe place. You can also see if your school has a property registration program through student affairs or the campus police. If your property is stolen, you will have records proving that it is yours if it is recovered.
  2. Lock Up Your Laptop – If you are using your laptop in the library, a lab, etc., and you have to walk away, don’t leave the device unattended. It is too easy for someone else to just walk away with it. Either take it with you, or lock it up so no one else is able to take it. The last thing you want is to lose an expensive laptop, and likely all of your notes and other school work. Both are far too costly to replace.
  3. Lock Everything – When you have to leave your dorm room, even if it is just for a couple of minutes to grab a cup of coffee, lock your doors. It only takes a few minutes for someone to go in and take everything, and you could lose your computer, and all of your valuable work. You may also want to store your work on the cloud so you can take advantage of disaster recovery.
  4. ID In Your Wallet – Many of us are tempted to put our money, identification, etc. in our backpacks. If you do this, you need to get out of this habit now. Either carry these items in a wallet or purse, or in your pocket. It is far too easy for someone to sneak up behind you, unzip the backpack, reach in, and take your things. When you have your items close to you, it makes it much more difficult for someone to be able to steal from you.
  5. Get Insurance – It is a good idea to invest in some personal property insurance. It isn’t overly expensive, and if you do end up having expensive items stolen, you will know that they can be replaced. This coverage will protect you from theft, loss, fires, and other disasters. If you live on campus, look into a student insurance policy. If you live off campus, you may want to get some renters’ insurance. It costs less than $30 a month, and is well worth it if you end up having to replace items due to theft.
  6. Get a Lock Box – When you have items you want to protect, such as a gaming system, jewelry, money, you may want to consider getting a heavy lock box. You can get one small enough to fit under your desk, but cumbersome enough that it will deter possible thieves from taking it out of your dorm room or apartment. Be sure to get a lock box that is made of steel, and is fire-safe. This way, your stuff is protected from theft, fire, flooding, etc.

Byline:

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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