(Edited from AP) The annual college shopping trip is almost upon us. And while it’s fun to stock up on posters, shower caddies and desk lamps, experts say you also should consider how you’ll keep yourself, and your stuff, safe on campus.

Common sense is the best defense, says Chris McGoey, who runs a security business in Los Angeles and consults on campus safety. “It’s all about access. In most incidents, victims were careless, unaware and too trusting,” he says.

(Edited from AP) The annual college shopping trip is almost upon us. And while it’s fun to stock up on posters, shower caddies and desk lamps, experts say you also should consider how you’ll keep yourself, and your stuff, safe on campus.

Common sense is the best defense, says Chris McGoey, who runs a security business in Los Angeles and consults on campus safety. “It’s all about access. In most incidents, victims were careless, unaware and too trusting,” he says.

In dorm suites and hallways, there may be visitors you don’t know. Many freshmen like to adopt an “open-door” policy when they get moved into dorms. But that’s an invitation to would-be thieves.

TIPS

#1 If you have a computer, laptop or other electronic equipment, tether it to something solid using a security cable.

#2 There are also motion-sensor locks for laptops. And Orbicule’s Undercover is a monitoring device for your Mac, iPhone or iPad; for a student price of $39, the downloadable software will snap a photo of the person who took your Mac and track the IP address anywhere in the world, information that can be given to police. In the meantime, lockout features prevent the thief from accessing anything on the computer.

#3 For valuables, room safe might be one solution. Safes these days have been scaled down to look less intimidating in a dorm room. Diversion safes are containers that look like everyday items – cleanser cans, for example. The idea’s clever, so long as nobody accidentally throws the safe out.

#4 If your roommate has lost a key, don’t leave the door unlocked. Instead offer to help find the resident assistant to get a new lock and keys.

#5 Since students are at particular risk for identity theft, according to a survey by Impulse Research for the Chubb Group Insurance Cos. Some simple steps can reduce the risk:
Don’t give out bank, credit card or social security information over the phone or online. Shred sensitive documents, or use an identity blocker stamp that obscures personal info. Be careful about replying to solicitations, and check bank balances frequently. If your wallet or purse is stolen, let your bank, the school and the police know immediately.
If you do suspect identity theft, go to Onguardonline.gov for help. It has information from the federal government and the tech industry on how to safeguard identity online.


www.dormco.com – Go Vault dorm safe, $19.99; Laptop Defender, $28.89; Pepper Spray, $8.33; KYSS Locking Safe Bag, $39.98; Shredder Scissors, $6.91.

www.collegestudentsafety.com – campus crime stats, safety tips and advice, as well as security items. Starter Kit includes first aid kit, door alarm and candle diversion safe, $49.99; College Safety Bundle includes Dorm Vault laptop safe, first aid kit and Big Jammer door bar, $129.99; Keychain alarm, $12.99; CounterStrike jogging weights, $15.99, or two for $28.99.

www.orbicule.com – security software for Apple products. Special student rate $39.99 with upgrades available.

www.onguardonline.gov

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