Prevent Theft on Campus
Guest Blogger: Harper Mac
College students typically don’t carry briefcases full of diamonds and cash onto a college campus, but they still have valuables that matter to them. Laptops, phones, and other electronic devices are attractive targets for thieves, and a college campus is a prime place for robberies to occur. But there are several ways to prevent thefts on campus. Following are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of theft.
Lock your door at all times
A brazen thief isn’t afraid to test various dorm room doors to see which one has been left unlocked. Don’t ever leave your room or apartment unattended when the door is unlocked. Particularly in a dormitory where everyone lives in close quarters, it’s too easy to know when a room’s occupants have left the building. Even if you trust your neighbors, play it smart and keep the door locked.
Mark your valuables so you can identify them later
If it’s yours, put your name on it – in addition to marking expensive items like laptops or tablets, add your initials or some other unique mark to your CDs, DVDs, and books. For electronic devices, consider etching your initials or name into the exterior of the device, making it difficult for thieves to cover or remove them.
Keep essential belongings and information in lock boxes or secured storage
Personal belongings like social security cards, personal documents, and valuable items like jewelry should be kept in a lock box or other storage device and secured by a key or combination lock. You might also check with your dormitory to see if safe deposit boxes are available – this is the best way to guarantee that items will be protected from theft even in extreme situations.
Close windows when you’re away
A locked door won’t be much of a deterrent to burglars when a first-floor window is propped open. Make sure your windows are closed and latched whenever you’re out of the apartment or house to keep your valuables safe.
Keep valuables out of your car
Parking your car in a well-lit area is a good first step in preventing theft. The best way to keep criminals out is to keep your vehicle free of any visible valuables. Criminals may be less tempted to break a window if the car looks barren from the outside. Either store valuables in your trunk or under the seat or – if possible – carry them with you and store them in a more secure place. You can also install an anti-theft device, which not only deters thieves, but can reduce the cost of car insurance. Ultimately, it’s hard to keep your car from being broken into, but you can mitigate your losses by keeping your car clean.
Too many college students aren’t aware of the risks they face in their new living environment. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can’t be victimized by criminals – this creates a false sense of security that can lead you astray. If you remain diligent in protecting yourself from theft, you can drastically reduce the risk of being robbed – and even if you are, you might stand a better chance of recovering your belongings.
About the Author
Lindsey Harper Mac is a writer and editor living in Indianapolis. specialize in writing about social media and technology.