Freshmen: Are You Protecting Your Belongings From Theft in the Dorms?

From communal bathrooms to shared laundry and sleeping in close quarters with a roommate, life in the dorms is a major adjustment for many students. One unfortunate aspect to living in the dorm is the potential that your stuff might get stolen. Read on to see how taking basic safety precautions can decrease the risk of being a target.

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Theft in Dorms

While it's important to feel at home in your dorm, there are certain behaviors you'll have to change in order to protect your stuff. Dorms are communal living spaces, and dorm residents do steal from one another. Theft might be even more likely if you live in a high-traffic dorm with lots of people coming and going. Unfortunately, this means you'll have to be a little more vigilant in your living space. Read these tips to ensure your life in the dorms is theft free!

Tips For Preventing Theft

Always Lock Your Door

Even if your dorm mates are completely trustworthy, don't leave the fate of your possessions to chance. Theft is often just a crime of opportunity. You never know who could be wandering the halls and how quickly your things can be taken from an unlocked room.

Leave Expensive Items at Home

The less you have, the easier it is to keep track of. Unless you plan to wear your grandmother's pearl necklace to Psychology 101, leave the family heirlooms at home. It's also advised that you keep large amounts of cash at home or locked in your room.

Pay Attention to Your Laundry

Unless there's a serious problem with laundry theft on your campus, you shouldn't have to sit and watch your laundry wash and dry. But, by promptly moving your clothes from the washer to the dryer and back to your room again, you're reducing the chance of a person making off with your favorite college hoodie.

Don't Leave Belongings Unattended

This is a great idea no matter where you are, including the library or a coffee shop. Leaving your laptop, iPad, cell phone, camera or wallet sitting on a table or desk while you run off to talk to a friend is a green light for an opportunistic thief.

Don't Ignore Strangers

Depending on the size or layout of your dorm, you might get to know the residents and regular visitors. If there is someone in the dorm you don't recognize, draw attention to them somehow by alerting the resident assistant, or asking the person if they need assistance. Safety is first, so don't approach strangers if you're not comfortable doing so. Call the police or the campus patrol if you think someone is up to no good.

Take Additional Precautions

There are a variety of measures you can take for extra protection. Get a lock box to hold important items, documents or money. Purchase a portable lock that attaches your laptop to something nearby, like a heavy desk or a bookshelf. There are also apps and programs for computers and smartphones that allow you to track items if they're stolen. For the ultimate protection, look into a renter's insurance plan to cover your belongings in case of loss or theft.

It makes sense to protect the useful stuff in your dorm room.

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