How to Keep Your Stuff Safe on Campus
When you’re in college, you can be surrounded by hundreds of people each day in places like the classroom, library or your dorm building. With so many people around, it’s important to keep your belongings safeguarded at all times to minimize the risk of theft. These tips can help you keep your stuff safe on campus:
Leaving valuables, like expensive jewelry, at home may be a good idea, says the Insurance Information Institute. But, if you need to take valuable items with you to college, keep them hidden and out of sight, or even locked up in a small safe, suggests Consumer Reports. You could also consider getting a safety deposit box at a nearby bank.
To help protect your computer, consider purchasing a security cable to anchor it to your desk. You may also want to use the security cable when you take your computer to public places, such as the library. If you have a bicycle, don’t forget to lock it up as well — Consumer Reports recommends using a U-shaped lock over a cable lock, as they can be harder to cut through.
Register Your Items
Consumer Reports states that many colleges have property-registration programs to help deter theft on campus. These programs typically provide students with a sticker or security plate to put on the items they choose to register (for example, a laptop). Then, if the sticker or plate is removed from the item, it will leave a permanent “tattoo,” says Consumer Reports. If the thief tries to sell the stolen item, the “tattoo” may alert the buyers that the item was stolen. If your college offers a program like this, it may be worth registering any valuable items you keep on campus to help protect them.
Keep Your Doors Locked
A dorm room can become your home away from home, and you may be tempted to leave your door unlocked while waiting for a friend to arrive or making a quick trip down the hall. However, locking your door can be an easy way to help secure your belongings — VeryWellFamily.com recommends locking it at all times, as theft can occur in a matter of minutes. You may also want to refrain from loaning your keys to anyone, including close friends. This helps minimize the risk of someone entering your place without your knowledge.
Protect Your Belongings With Insurance
While you can take preventive measures to protect your stuff, it may not always stop thieves. Purchasing an insurance policy can help you prepare for the unexpected, as it may help replace your belongings if they are stolen or damaged. If your parents have a homeowners insurance policy, see if your belongings are covered by their policy. If not, you may need to consider your own renters insurance policy.
By taking some safety measures to protect your stuff at school, you can help minimize the risk of theft. If your stuff is stolen, remember to report the theft to a resident assistant, campus security or local authorities.
Originally published on September 19, 2011.