Keep Your Stuff From Getting Stolen Over Summer Break

One thing about college that we can all agree is a major downer, is the lack of privacy: privacy from our friends, our roommates and even authority figures, like our RAs. The truth is, hardly anything is private for a college student. In addition, anything remotely embarrassing or incriminating isn’t simply found and then laughed off, but most likely but online for all to see. You aren’t just protecting you and your stuff from your two roommates down the hall, but also from millions of people in the online community. So yes, you need some serious security measures. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered.

Keep your valuables safe. We’ve got plenty of dorm safes, dorm trunks and laptop safes at www.secureoncampus.com. However, just having a safe doesn’t necessarily mean you’re protected. You’ll want to place it somewhere that isn’t going to tempt everyone that walks by your room. Nothing says “I dare you to try and steal me” quite like a safe sitting in plain few in an open room. Use your head. At least put it somewhere that won’t tempt the drunk idiot that got lost between the 2nd and 3rd floor and is just looking for something stupid to do.

Set an alarm. Trust us, at some point or another, no matter how much you trust your roomie, someone will try to get into your room. It’s not the first time you should be worried about though. The first time they usually just need to borrow a pencil, or take back that calculator you borrowed from the night before. It’s later that they start borrowing clothes (or stealing clothes, depending on how well you both get along) and using your computer. In the course of three very short, stress inducing months, everything you own could literally be fair game.

An alarm lets people know when they’ve reached a limit. Honestly, not everyone means to snoop; it’s just slippery slope of confusing which side of the room is your own; a “what’s mine is yours” kind of syndrome. They don’t have to know the alarm is yours; let them believe it’s the school’s alarm that goes off when you try to force a locked door. That’ll show em’.

Stay updated. Ever heard of the Law of Entropy? It’s the theory that things left unattended will eventually move in the direction of chaos. Stacks of books will eventually fall over and photos will eventually fall off of your walls and onto the floor. You can’t just leave everything and expect it to be in the same condition as when you return. So have someone you trust check in from time to time. An RA perhaps, that already has your room key anyway. This will also deter people from thinking your place is completely deserted.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Keeping Important Documents Safe During a Mishap

When you think of winter you probably think of snow angels, hot chocolate and Christmas break. However, winter is also well-known for other things, like icy roads, freezing temperatures and burst pipes. Plus, the holiday season makes it notoriously difficult to get ahold of people that need to fix your burst pipes or broken windows during the winter.

Now here’s the tough part: how do you make sure your important documents are safe no matter what? Sure, you’d like to think that nothing is going to happen, but if a pipe bursts in your dorm bathroom while you’re home visiting your parents how do you know everything is safe when water starts to fill the room? And how do you know everything is safe when workers come in to repair everything?

Well first of all, you need to identify all your important paperwork. There are a lot of things you may not think of as important, but if someone else got their hands on them they could sure do a lot of damage. Here is a quick list of things you should gather up:

            – Bank account information

– Student account information (pin numbers, id cards, etc.)

– Credit card information

– Medical and immunization records

– Insurance policies and information (including student health and car insurance)

– Any tax/investment information (including financial aid items)

– Birth/Marriage certificates

– Auto registration

– Citizenship papers and passports

– Social security card

– Contact information for important people

Now granted you are probably not going to have some of things anyway (who the hell has a copy of their immunization records?), but if you do have these papers gather them up in the same group.

Step 2 is to make sure all your important documents are gathered and kept in a secure location. Many of our dorm safes, for example, are waterproof, fireproof, and even come with double steel walls and cables capable of handling up to 650 pounds of pressure. That means they are incredibly difficult to steel or break into, and in case of a natural disaster they’ll stay sealed, keeping everything inside protected.

Of course your best bet would be to have two locations with copies of the information, in case something happens in one location that makes it impossible to access this paperwork. One safe could be in your dorm, another could be at your parents’ house. That would sure make things easier when they are filling out school related forms.

In addition, it might also be a good idea to keep computer files in your dorm safe too. Think of that 40 page senior thesis you’ve been working on…would you have a backup if your computer got stolen? What if a fire ripped through your dorm room, destroying your computer and your backup you had on your USB? Copy your report on a USB and put it in your safe. That way, even if you emailed it to yourself (trust me, I’ve been there when it won’t download correctly) you’re still in good hands.

For more dorm safety equipment don’t forget to check out our website at www.secureoncampus.com!

Bullying: It’s Not Just for Grade School Anymore

Now you may be laughing to yourself right now, after all I am doing an entire post on bullying…in college. But it’s more of an issue than you might think. Actually, it might be right up your alley. Turns out bullying in college (or the workplace, or the home, or anywhere, as a matter of fact) is just as common as bullying in grade school or high school. Where there is something somebody wants, there is usually a bully lurking in the corner.

So what exactly does a bully look like in college? Well, the same as it looks anywhere else. Some are outgoing and aggressive, and may even use force to get what they want. Others are smooth-talking and manipulating (Sound familiar? Like your ex-roommate, perhaps?) and relish the simple joys of making you do things you don’t want to do. So how do you get the monkey off your back? Read on.

1.) Walk away. Yes, I know that it sounds simple, and at times it may seem that walking away would only instigate things and make them worse, but it’s quite the contrary. Bullies aren’t angry at you to begin with, they simply want a reaction. Take away their reaction and they’ll quickly lose interest.

2.) Tell someone. Just as the same is true for a child in 2nd grade, the same is true of a 21 year old college student and a 35 year old office employee. Bullies operate in secret. Bringing their behavior to the forefront makes it clear to them that they are not, in fact, invisible and what they are doing is not acceptable.

3.) Have a support system. It’s very common for someone not to be able to stand up to their bully, but it’s much easier to do when they’re with a large group of friends. First of all, your friends usually recognize when you’re uncomfortable with something and will often stick up for you if you can’t find the words. Second of all, a bully doesn’t want to take on a group of people, they’d rather deal with you one-on-one.

4.) Protect yourself. When worst comes to worst, you need to be able to protect yourself. That means having the campus security on speed dial as well as having an array of personal safety items on you at all times. These could range from pepper spray to a personal alarm to the iWitness iPhone app. All of these are great ways to make a bully stand down before anything gets out of control. And if you ever feel you might need to use one of these items, you sure as hell had better be reporting the issue to campus security ASAP.

And don’t forget to check out our store (www.secureoncampus.com) for even more personal safety items, like dorm safes, laptop locks and even personal emergency kits. You can never be too careful!

When You DO Need to Get Involved

There are times and situations when you just need to keep to yourself and not get involved. However, there are also other circumstances that make it necessary for you to stop whatever you’re doing and help out. These are some of these times:

1.) When someone is in danger. Now let me be very clear here, this does not mean that it’s appropriate to put yourself in danger, it just means that something needs to be done. If your friend is in a violent and dangerous relationship, for example, it’s not recommended that you march over to their house and give their significant other a taste of their own medicine (as much as we all would probably love to do that). Instead, you need to have a serious talk with your friend about what is happening behind closed doors. Naturally, this can be an incredibly difficult thing to talk about, so don’t pressure them for information. Simply let them know that you are there for them and then keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

2.) Someone can’t take care of themselves. Let’s say you’re walking down the street and you see someone so drunk they’re stumbling in and out of traffic. Now of course it’s not your job to go get them, prop them up, take them home and nurse them back to health, but it is your job (as it is everyone’s job) to do something. Simply calling the cops and explaining the situation (you can even do it anonymously) is enough.

3.) When you’re unsure. This one can be debated, but I’d rather fall back on the “it’s better to be safe than sorry” mantra. For example, a few years ago there was an older woman who lived a few houses up from me. I knew her because my cat often went missing, and I always ended up knocking on her door asking if she’d seen him. One day, while out for a run, I noticed a man in his mid-40’s forcing himself into the house. I went and knocked on the door and no one answered, but I heard someone moving around inside. I called the cops and soon they were there talking to the man. Apparently she was out of town and this was her son, and she had forgotten to leave a key so he could get into her house. When she came back into town (and her son had left) she came over and thanked me for checking on her. Moral of the story: she was perfectly fine, but under different circumstances her life could’ve been in serious danger, and she truly appreciated that at least someone was looking out for her.

4.) When you’re the only one that knows anything. Many bad deeds happen in secret and behind closed doors and if no one knows what is going on things will continue the way they are. If you witness something that is wrong (a professor being inappropriate, a roommate blackmailing another roommate, etc.) speak up! Failing to do so does not keep you on the side of neutrality, it puts you on the side of the offender.

And once again, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com for plenty of personal safety equipment like pepper spray, personal alarms, dorm room safes and more!

Stupid Dorm Rules You Really Do Need to Follow

I know, I’ve been there; it’s 8:00 at night and your RA comes knocking on the door because whatever video game battle you’ve got going on with your roommate has gotten a bit heated and God forbid anyone on your floor has ever heard the word “crap” shouted at an above average level. Yes, this is a stupid rule, and I have no qualms with you arguing with your RA about it. Just keep in mind that they probably don’t have a problem with it, they’ve just got some jackass knocking on their door every 20 minutes to complain about it so now they have to do something.

However, there are some rules that no matter how stupid, silly or completely ridiculous they are you really, really do need to follow, for your own safety and the safety of everyone else in your dorm.

1.) No candles. Ugh, I know! How tough is it to blow out a candle, right? Well actually…think about the collective unit of possibly high, drunk or hungover and definitely sleep-deprived college students that make up the dorms. Someone’s bound to miss a candle once in a while, and then combine that with the fact that many students completely ignore fire-drills (maybe if they didn’t run them constantly and always at 2:00 in the morning more people would participate in them), and you’ve got yourself a dangerous situation. Plus, there are now a million other things you could bring that don’t have an open flame (here’s one example), so stop complaining and just follow the no candle rule.

2.) No propping doors open. Personally, this was one of my biggest vices. The act of swiping my student ID badge to get into my dorm every single freakin’ time I left the building was beyond annoying, especially when those ID badges start to wear out halfway through the semester and begin failing to let you in. But you can’t prop the door open, folks. All those creepy people your parents warned you about? Screw the dimly lit campus paths at 3:00 in the morning, if they can get into a dorm of sleeping students they’ll have the time of their life. Not to mention all the potential for stuff getting stolen.

3.) No heavy duty speakers or amps. First of all, why the hell do you need something that can be heard from three miles away? The fact is you don’t, because as soon as it’s loud enough for that guy across the hall to hear (which is not difficult with the seemingly paper thin walls of dormitories) it’s too loud. Everyone wants to escape to some good tunes every now and then but c’mon, wear some headphones. Don’t be a jackass.

And second of all, equipment like that uses up some serious electricity, and these rooms aren’t meant to withstand that kind of demand. You could end up short circuiting something, which if it doesn’t cause a fire or a blackout, it will at least waste up some of the school’s budget having to fix everything. Think you won’t see a bump in your tuition prices next year? You’re wrong. Invest in a pair of good quality headphones instead.

Don’t forget to check out our stores for more dorm safety essentials (www.secureoncampus.com) and dorm room decorations (www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com)!

Dorm Safety Essentials

It’s getting to be that time of year: you’ve probably been thinking about what you need to take with you to college, but you’re not going to pack until maybe the day before. You’ll use the excuse “I need to pack” to get out of virtually every uncomfortable situation (dinner with your grandparents), but let’s be honest; your room isn’t any more packed than it was 2 weeks ago.

So before you really get started, let’s go over what you need to bring with you; as far as safety goes. Pack these essentials first then use your spare suitcases to pack everything else.

1.) Locks. Theft is far and above the #1 reported incident on college campuses. Between things in your dorm, things in your car and things in your backpack, you’ve probably got a lot of expensive stuff lying around. And with locks being incredible affordable and practical, there’s really no reason not to own one. We’d recommend putting one on your closet (once you get to know you’re roommie you can remove it, but in the beginning you may wonder where the hell all your clothes have started disappearing too), on your dorm storage trunk (or any dorm trunk, for that matter), on your backpack and on your glove compartment in your car, if you can.

2.) Safes. Just like locks are important, so are safes. If you can’t afford a regular safe for the majority of your stuff (student ID, birth certificate, etc.), at least spring for a laptop safe. Our most basic model holds laptops up to 17 inches, is fire insulated, has double steel walls and can be secured to anything non-mobile with a 48-inch cable. You paid a lot of money for that laptop, don’t let some jackass get it for free.

3.) Fire Extinguishers. It may seem silly (your dorm has one, every building has one), but let’s be realistic. You start a fire in your room (yes, it happens), are you going to have time to pull up the dorm map and figure out where the hell the fire extinguisher is? Probably not. Just go to your room and get the one you brought with you. Better safe than sorry.

4.) Pepper Spray. Pepper spray comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes now, so you don’t have to look like a paranoid freshman with a giant canister of pepper spray attached to their belt loop. And even if you think you’ll never need it (we hope you’ll never need it), it’s better to have it just in case.

5.) Your iWitness App. This isn’t going to take up storage room but it’s just as important. We’d recommend downloading the service long before you get to college so if the time ever comes to use it you won’t be fumbling with your phone.

A Letter to Parents: What Your College Student is Forgetting to Ask For

As college students across the country begin to head back to school, parents all over the country are most likely digging out their wallets. After all, any summer savings is going to be going towards textbooks and additional university fees (trust us, it will), so it’s natural to help out with a little back to school shopping. Thing is though, we’re pretty sure we already know what your college student is asking for, and it’s not on this list.

For the most part, you’re probably going to spend a trip to your local wholesale store to stock up on cereal and top ramen, spend some time at an office supply store picking up notebooks, dividers, chemistry equipment (yes, students are often required to buy their own goggles), and highlighters, take the time to bring the car in for a tune-up and maybe even devote a few more dollars to a new item of clothing (bonus points of it’s a pair of sweats because we guarantee that’s what they’ll get the most use out of). But here is a list of the things you’re student is not asking for but really should be:

1.) Dorm Safes. Trust us, we’ve been students and we too gave our roommate (and every other person that walked by our dorm room door as we left it unlocked since we lost our key the day we moved it) way too much trust. Your student needs a dorm safe to put their valuables in. It doesn’t have to be big, and they don’t have to have it sitting out on the kitchen table, but they need one. They aren’t going to ask for it, so just buy one for them.

2.) A fire extinguisher. Yes, we fully admit that there’s a good chance this won’t be used to put out a fire and will instead be used as a prop during a drunken dance-off at 4:00 in the morning. However, you’d much rather take this chance than waiting for the day when your student attempts to make their own Flaming Dr. Pepper shots during a drunken bender at 4:00 in the morning. They need a fire-extinguisher. They’re cheap and they save lives.

3.) Dorm locks. Every student always wishes they have some, but they never actually go out and buy some until it’s too late. Stuff gets stolen at college, it’s a fact of life, and no one is going to waste their time breaking into a locked closet when the closet two feet away is easily accessible. Dorm locks take up barely any room in their suitcase and they won’t even notice until they get to school and start unpacking that you’ve stashed a few locks in their luggage, just for good measure.

Don’t forget to check out additional campus security items at our online store www.secureoncampus.com!

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