With all the excitement that surrounds heading off to school, it is possible to forget about keeping your valuables safe. Most college kids arrive on campus with thousands of dollars’ worth of personal property including small, easy-to-steal electronics. Laptops, cell phones, cameras, stereos, and video game systems are easy targets for thieves.
We’ve compiled a check list for you to refer to – both before you head off to school and once you arrive.
We advise that you also periodically check over the list to be sure you haven’t let anything go by the wayside.
Protect Your Valuables Checklist
- Register your valuables before leaving home. Take pictures of important items and keep those on file in case you would ever need to identify a lost or stolen item. Also, check with your school to see if it has its own registry system. If so, take advantage and use it.
- Keep a list of serial numbers written down in a safe place.
- Consider having your name engraved on your electronics. It’s easier to trace and recover them this way. Alternatively, use a symbol that you can identify and use it instead.
- Be sure that your electronics all have password protection enabled. You wouldn’t want any personal information to get into the hands of someone who is untrustworthy.
- Leave your most expensive jewelry items at home. Chances are you won’t be needing those items at school and the risk of having there may outweigh the reward.
- Don’t leave items laying out in plain sight when you’re gone. Find an out-of-way place in your room to store money and valuables.
- Always lock your door! This may sound obvious, but often, this easy step is forgotten when you’re in a hurry. Keep the key attached to a lanyard or large keychain that would be difficult to misplace or forget somewhere.
- Make sure there is a working fire alarm where you live.
- Don’t carry credit cards, ID, and money in your backpack. Keep them on your body. It’s too easy for a thief to grab and run with your backpack, or even unzip it in a crowded bus or while it’s hanging on the back of a chair.
- Those textbooks can be expensive! Write your name inside, or otherwise mark them so you know they’re yours.
- If you have many expensive items, consider a small safe for your room and even an insurance policy that covers theft.
- If you’re staying in a dorm, your school will have an emergency escape route posted. If you’re renting an apartment, be sure to look all around the building and devise a safe escape plan.
- In the event that something does happen, know who to call. Program your school’s campus police phone number in your phone and if it’s an emergency, dial 911.
Taking the time to read over and follow through on these suggestions might just keep you from being targeted. Enjoying your time at college is important but don’t forget to be safe too!