16 ways to stop your stuff getting stolen at University

Starting student life can be expensive from digs to books - here's how to protect your valuables from thieves on the prowl.

Mouldy sandwich bags

moldy sandwich bags
You can buy a bunch of these bags from eBay or just make your own. Pretty cool.

Register your items

The website Immobilise.com is a Police-baked website where you can register the unique IDs of your devices making it easier for them to be found and traced, plus harder for them to be passed on.

Install tracker apps

Make sure your phone is set up with apps that help find it if it's lost and stolen and can remotely wipe the device, preventing your private data from getting into the hands of criminals.

Don't leave property unattended

Pretty obvious really, but don't slip up: Even if just popping over to the printer to collect work, be wary of leaving your laptop alone.

Tie it to something

If it can be picked up, someone quite possibly will take it. Use lock chains to keep particularly expensive things secure.

Be careful about who and what you loan

Lending a mate a fiver for a drink on a night out? Sure! A DVD? Of course! Your brand new flatmate £500? Ask questions, be cautious and don't be worried about saying no.

Look out for dodgy cash machines

via Cory Doctorow
Don't get caught out by skimmer devices attached to cash machines and always cover up your pin with your hand when punching it in.

Hide what food you can

Food is possibly the most common thing that gets pinched at University so label what's yours and hide it in your room if there's a thief on the loose. If you can't hide it away from the kitchen, simply changing the packaging can help, such as placing things in an empty butter container.

Get a mini fridge

mini fridge
You can pick up a cheap mini fridge and keep food chilled in your room away from prying eyes.

Keep your door locked when out

Another obvious one, let's be fair.

Don't get blind drunk

Or if you do, make sure you leave your valuables at home. It may be worth investing in a cheap Pay as You Go phone (can be picked up for about £20-30) to take out with you.

Got a bike? Get a bike lock

An unlocked bike is trivial to steal and get away with, don't make it easy for thieves.

Invest in a laptop lock

laptop lock
A laptop lock will secure your computer with a special connector.

Mark everything

Not all theft is on purpose, especially with lots of similar looking bags, phones and cables it can be easy to get things mixed up.

Get a cheap safe

cheap safe
Buy a cheap safe to store valuables in your room. It won't keep out determined thieves but you're looking to stop fellow students not armed raiders.

Protect yourself with insurance

Insurance will not stop your stuff being stolen but it will reduce the impact to you if it is. Check out some student contents' insurance and make sure you have home contents insurance too.

About the author: Thomas Brella

Thomas Brella is the founder of Student Hacks, starting the website in 2013 while studying at the University of Brighton to share tips and tricks on life as a cash-strapped student. He's now spent over 10 years scoping out the best ways to live on a budget

More on: Living
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