With the little ones not so little anymore and (perhaps thankfully) moving off to college it’s about time to teach them something about securing their personal belongings and staying safe themselves. There’s two basic ways to go about this. One method is to do nothing and let them learn the hard way that the world isn’t always an ideal and honest place. Another option, however, is to come prepared and don’t give anyone the chance to teach them that lesson in the first place. Here we’ll opt for the second option and look at the basics of dorm security and personal safety in a college environment.
One of the most valuable items and a staple of every college student is their laptop computer. This is going to be the most frequently stolen item on any campus and the most important item to secure and lockup. There are a few options here for keeping your laptop safe. Firstly, you can go for an actual laptop safe which is in essence a steel lockbox often with an electronic locking mechanism. Another option is using a security cable which can be attached easily to a computer and disengaged with a key or combination in most cases. While a laptop safe will typically be more secure it is also more expensive. Campus burglars are typically not professional so any amount of resistance will usually suffice in keeping your belongings safe.
Aside from the expensive but very necessary items like your computer a college campus is not the best place to be keeping most valuables. Try to minimize any potential loss by leaving high value items that you don’t need at home. However, for the rest of your belongings if you don’t want to rely on the door lock it is possible to equip your room or apartment with a small lockbox, a canvas travel pouch, or even a small safe without too much trouble or a hefty price tag. Another option is to supplement your door lock with another deadbolt or something similar. It’s best to consult the college administration before doing this but it should be a viable option if you are worried about security.
While most colleges are typically a safe place to be there are times when you might not feel like it. The best thing to do is be smart and avoid areas without proper lighting or parts of town that don’t seem safe. Another option is to carry a small deterrent like mace or a whistle in the event of assault. College is also a great place to find some self defense classes as well. Usually just use your best judgement and avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations and locations. When possible travel with friends and avoid being alone at night in unsavory areas.