7 top tips to keep your belongings safe at university
It is estimated that around a third of Britain’s student population become victims of crime during their time at university. Those students with expensive equipment such as laptops, cameras and even road bikes are viewed as easy targets by criminals. These thieves look to pinpoint students that focus too heavily on having a good time and aren’t street-wise about protecting their belongings.
It is said that around a fifth of all student-related robberies take place in the first six weeks of the academic year. It’s a period when Freshers are still finding their feet and enjoying getting to know their housemates and course mates. If you want to avoid becoming part of that statistic, here are five key safety tips to safeguard your belongings and your student accommodation.
- Cable lock expensive property e.g. laptops, cameras – Whether you’re popping out for an hour-long lecture or you’re heading home for the weekend to catch up with family, if you’re leaving any of your expensive belongings in your student property, make sure you secure them in your room to prevent them from being stolen. A cable lock can fasten a laptop or peripherals with a four-digit combination lock; rather like a bike lock.
- Use a key chain to minimise the chance of losing your flat or house keys – It might not look ‘cool’ or ‘sexy’, but you can reduce your chances of misplacing your flat or house keys by putting them on a key chain which attached to your trousers, belt or handbag. If you’re lucky, some student unions often give away key chains for free during Fresher’s Week.
- Utilise ‘Find My iPhone’ or ‘Find My Device’ to locate stolen iPhone or Android smartphones – Whether you’ve misplaced your smartphone or someone with light fingers appears to have pinched it from you, it’s possible to locate the whereabouts of your iPhone or Android device using their respective ‘Find My iPhone’ and ‘Find My Device’ functionality. Through remote location-tracking, it’s possible to view your missing device on a map. The application also allows you to lock and remotely erase sensitive data saved on your smartphone if you’re unable to find it.
- Check the safety of private student accommodation you wish to rent – Before you and your friends dive in head first and commit to a student house for next year, make sure you do your background checks on the area of the property. Find out the landlord’s approach to security and whether the property has any easy access points that could be exploited. When you rent private student houses with SPCE, you can rest assured our approved and rated landlords want only the best for their property and its tenants.
- Don’t let strangers follow you into secured areas – If your halls of residence has a number of communal areas which require keys or fobs to get through, be vigilant and only let yourself through the door at the same time. Don’t let people enter behind you blindly off the street. If they are wanting to enter the premises legitimately, they will have to do so using their own key or fob!
- Mark your expensive belongings using an invisible UV pen – To ensure the best possible chance of retrieving stolen possessions such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, make sure you mark each item with an invisible UV pen. You should place your initials or postcode on the item for future reference in case the items are seized by the police at a later date.
- Insure your most treasured possessions – Finally, to guard against the worst happening, it certainly doesn’t hurt to take out insurance on your most expensive belongings. For a small monthly fee, you can live your life at university in the knowledge that, if you are a crime victim, you can claim on your policy and receive a like-for-like replacement. Some students may be able to include their possessions on their parents’ home insurance policy, which is certainly something worth looking into!