College students are preparing to head back to campus in a few short weeks. For many, this will be the first time living away from home and outside the watchful eye of parents or guardians. Here are ten tips for campus safety:
Keep keys secure and quickly accessible. Fumbling for keys and the bottom of a purse or backpack can leave you vulnerable for a few critical moments. Use a clip, lanyard or wristband to keep keys within easy reach at all times.
Maintain situational awareness. Always know what’s going on around you. Stay on well-lit, well-travelled walkways. Don’t text and walk, and certainly don’t text and drive.
Lock every door, every time. Lock the door to your room, suite, apartment, home and/or vehicle. Don’t prop common area doors open, and don’t forget to secure windows, too.
Get to know the campus and surrounding neighborhood. Know where emergency call stations are located. Check with local police to see what kinds of crime are reported, and where.
Buddy up. Stick with a trusted friend, especially when out and about in the evening and after dark.
Don’t share passwords to debit or credit card accounts, social media accounts or other secure accounts. Don’t reuse passwords between accounts, either.
Make sure friends, roommates and family have a copy of your schedule, so that you can be located quickly in the event of an emergency.
Don’t overshare on social media. Be cautious about posting details about where you are, and with whom. Wait until after you are safely home before posting those kinds of details.
Take a personal safety or self-defense class. Most campus safety departments or other student advocacy groups offer training – often free – through the year.
If you see something, say something. Report anything suspicious – untended bags or packages, threatening language or behavior, etc. – to security immediately.
Photo by beholdereye.