Every year students from all over the country set off to what will be there new home for the next three years or so.
New found independence, making new friends and, of course, leaving home; probably for the first time.
Unfortunately though, burglars and opportunistic thieves thrive on the possibility of new student arrivals; offering them new possibilities.
With thousands of students moving every year, and most of them bringing their laptops, tablets and smartphones, students can often be prime targets for thieves and it’s estimated that nearly one in five students will be victims of crime during their university years – with burglary being the most common.
With this in mind, Securesafe Ltd have put together a guide to staying safe at university.
Lock it or lose it
An open window is also an open invitation to a burglar, so make sure you don’t leave them open when you are not in – especially if you’re on the ground floor.
Check that all the locks in your house or halls of residence are working before you move in, and always make sure every window and door is locked before you go out – even if other people are still in.
If this is the first time you and all your housemates have lived in the building, it’s also worth asking your landlord to change the locks just in case other people still have keys.
Don’t advertise valuables
You might want to show your brand new tablet off to your friends, but don’t tempt burglars with it as well.
Placing expensive items in full view of passersby acts like a shop window for thieves, so make sure that nothing valuable can be seen through your windows, and never leave keys, cash or credit cards in full view either.
You might also want to be careful when it comes to “advertising” the fact that you live in a student accommodation, so be careful not to let beer bottles and pizza boxes pile up outside – all dead giveaways that a group of students with lots of expensive technology live at this address.
Secure your bicycle
Many students like to use a bike to get to and from campus or just around town generally. They can be a cheap mode of transport and a much healthier way of getting from A to B.
The only problem is, however, they can also be like a red rag to a bull when it comes to opportunist thieves. So if you’re using a bike you need to be sure it is secure at all times – not just when you’re on campus, but when it’s being stored at home too.
So a simple locking chain just simply won’t cut it. You need something like a strong D-Lock, which will deter even the most persistent of thieves.
Protect electronic devices
Items like laptops, phones and tablets are a must have for students, regardless of what you are studying – but they are also very attractive to thieves too.
So if you are carrying expensive equipment with you, be sure to keep your eye on it at all times and make sure it is properly insured. Some insurance companies actually require that you take extra steps to mark expensive equipment, like using an ultra violet substance, which makes it easier to trace your items should they be stolen.
Keep data to yourself
It’s not just your physical possessions you need to secure, it’s the information and data that you store on them too. When starting a new college or university course you will have a whole load of things on your mind; new bank account, student loan, savings accounts etc.
But however much information you have to digest, don’t be tempted to write down account numbers, passwords or PIN information, because if this falls into the wrong hands the results can be costly and proving you were the victim of a crime might be difficult.
Invest in a safe
If you have a number of valuable items that you want to secure, one of the best way to protect your gadgets and possessions is to invest in a safe.
This needn’t be the huge locking contraptions that are often seen in the movies complete with wheel lock and combination. There is now a wide range of designs on the market, from cash safes to laptop safes, not to mention those specifically for storing documents and security cabinets. It may seem like an extreme measure, but an initial outlay can provide years of security, not to mention peace of mind.