Health & Safety
How to Guard Against Theft and Vandalism
One of the hardest adjustments for parents of college students is letting go of knowing their children are safe and sound under the same roof. With students surrounded by other young people in the dorms or out on their own with no supervision, theft and vandalism become real threats. Fortunately, parents can monitor campus safety of many colleges across the country through the U.S. Department of Education’s reports on crime and fire statistics.
But parents can go a step beyond knowing the security-related statistics of their students’ campuses. Consider the following precautions your student can take to guard against theft and vandalism:
Dorm life is social, and many dorm residents have an “open door” policy – which means they leave their doors open or unlocked for friends to come by and hang out. Especially when your student’s dorm is unoccupied – but even when she’s there or sleeping – encourage her to lock the door. Inviting strangers in or having an endless stream of people coming in and out can present an opportunity for thieves to scope out valuables and take things, unnoticed. Also, discourage your student from giving apartment or dorm keys to friends.
Use Social Media Sparingly
Many students use Foursquare, Twitter or Facebook on their phones to “check in” when they arrive somewhere. This allows anyone who follows them on these social media sites to know exactly where they are – and when their dorm or apartment is unattended. Encourage your student to be discreet and always think twice before she posts something online for virtually anyone to see.
Take Care of Possessions
Common sense can go a long way in protecting your student’s possessions. Remind her not to leave her laptop or phone unattended while she’s studying. Discourage her from bringing a purse to parties if she’s going to set it down or leave it in a room where she can’t see it. And make sure she has a lock to secure her bike, if she rides it on campus. If she brings a bike to campus but doesn’t ride it regularly, remind her to lock it up in a safe place – not in the middle of campus where an unclaimed bike won’t go unnoticed by thieves or vandals.
Look into Insurance Plans
If you and your student want more assurance that personal property will be safe, consider renter’s insurance. Contact GradGuard for a quote that will cover loss due to theft, fire, flood, vandalism, natural disasters and even some accidental damage.