Every year millions of students will be heading off to college in the United States . And even the safest of college towns will experience some level of crime, from thefts, to assaults and even home burglaries.
And while colleges are working to create a safe place for students to learn. There are many ways you can protect yourself and increase your personal safety and protect your belongings. Whether you are just starting college or you are midway through, these tips will help keep you safe while at college.
1) Learn about your college’s Campus Safety office
Part of your tuition is what funds the campus security office or campus safety office, so since you help fund it. You should use it. Make the most of this resource by utilizing its services. Your college’s website likely provides information like office hours and phone number, but you can also visit in person when you arrive on campus. You can find things like the offices phone number and hours on you school’s website. I would also recommend that you also visit the safety/security office in person. Make sure that when you visit the Campus Safety office you look into their programs and gather any information about your safety they have.
Here is a list of common programs that they may offer: Safety maps with suggested secure routes Campus escort services Blue light emergency phone stations Support for a safety apps
2) During the night is the best time to take Additional Precaution.
In the darkness of the night is when crimes such as sexual assault are more likely to happen. You could always call campus security for a ride or simply use the buddy system when walking at night. Pepper spray can help also if you your college campus allows them and you make sure to get training. What if you just can’t avoid walking into an unfamiliar place or you have no choice but to walk alone? Get and download a personal safety app for your iPhone or Android.
3) Make Sure You Always Lock Up
Never leave your apartment or dorm unlocked, even if you are only going down the hall. First floor dwellers should ensure binds are down, windows are secured and your valuables are hidden when leaving your dorm or apartment.
Recommendation: Use hidden safes for hiding your valuables and lock up computer laptops when you leave by using an alarmed pad lock on your closet door.
You could also use wireless window and door alarms, especially if your windows don’t lock. If you use a safe, keep it hidden in a closet.
Diversion safes are a great way to hide your valuables in plain site. Using a wireless window alarm and door alarm can add some much-needed peace of mind without costing a lot of cash.
4) Beware what you post on Social Media
College age students live on Social media and while it can be awesome for connecting with friends and family worldwide or sharing updates about your life.
You must remain aware of who else could be viewing your information. Keep from posting public posts that reveal you are not home or that you are leaving on a break, also never Geotag photos, as it reveals your location to strangers.
Take the time and go through your settings at each social media profile you use. Take a moment to consider each item you share, keep your social media accounts private and disable all location services.
IMPORTANT: Once something gets posted on the Internet, it’s tough to remove it entirely.
5) Always be aware when entering and exiting your vehicle.
Check the backseat and under your car prior to entering. This is of extra concern if you have left your car unlocked or a window down. These are favorite hiding places for a potential attacker. Try to walk toward your vehicle in a way that will give you a view around the entire car and then check the back seat before opening the door.
Personal Safety Tip: Always turn on your alarm and lock your car doors, even if you’re running just a quick errand.
Keeping an auto visor pepper spray can added safety once you have entered your vehicle.
6) Try to always know where you are heading.
Have a plan on how you are heading to class or back home. When attempting to navigate a new location, make sure to walk with confidence and don’t look confused. Also, keep your focus on locating the destination when in an unknown place, avoid using headphones and stay off your phone.
Recommendation: When trying to navigate a popular, highly trafficked route use your GPS to find your destination.
Download your campus map onto your phone. Always try to avoid walking along deserted paths, and when in doubt, stick to the routes with which your most familiar — even if they take a little longer.
7) Research and understand the crime statistics of your campus and the city you are college is in.
It is much easier to prevent a crime when you know what to expect from the area you are in. You can learn about the different types of crimes and the location where they occurred by getting a hold of your college or universities crime statistics, via a site like City-Data.com.
Recommendation: Research and discover the on-campus crime reports available on the US Department of Education. The Campus Safety office is a great place to look into questions and concerns not covered in this article.
8) Learn to protect your self and your property.
Learning to protect oneself both physically and situational is very empowering. Giving you the confidence to live and travel on your own.
Simply taking a few classes and getting some tips from an instructor will go a long way to increase your confidence, you do not have to get your black belt to see positive results.
Choose a class or seminar that fits your interests. Do a search in google.
Self Defense Training Recommendations: Krav Maga and Jiujitsu are some examples of self defense classes offered. Most colleges with offer these, often in the gym. Ask your friends to go with you, you won’t feel so nervous about going alone.
9) Keep Security and Self Defense tools at hand at all times.
You can’t be protected if you don’t have the tools need for self protection. Mace and pepper sprays are often easy to obtain and while stun guns are not legal in all states, they can offer solid protection if you learn to use them correctly.
Your college may offer new students a whistle to alert those nearby when you need help or in danger. A personal alarm and offer the same type of protection, but doesn’t require your to use your breath.
Recommendation: Put together a small security self defense kit and place it in your backpack or place it on a lanyard or key ring for easy access.
Make sure your self defense tools are easy to get to, you can’t protect yourself if your items are not readily available.
Your time away at school will be a rewarding and incredible experience. Maintaining your safety awareness can be challenging as you meet new friends, enjoy new learning experiences and start to adjust to your independence. But having as successful safe year at college will be dramatically increased if you follow the steps laid out in this article.
Security Defense Weapons has many great products that we have hand tested and researched to keep you and your family. Every persons requirements for self defense and security are different. We have a great chat service here on the website to allow you to ask any question you may have about your choice.