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For many people, going away to college is the first time that they’ll be living on their own. Whether in a dorm room or an off-campus apartment, it’s important to maintain the same level of safety as you had at home.

Here are a few tips for college safety:

  1. Know Where You Are: Unless you’re staying in the area for college, you may not know where you are the first few times. It’s easy to get turned around on a college campus, even with the maps most campuses have posted everywhere. That’s why, on the first day if you can, you should download a campus map online. Use this in conjunction with Google Maps, and you won’t have to worry about being lost!

  2. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings: Many college campuses are public spaces, open to both students and non-students. While campus security will patrol frequently, it’s still up to you to keep an eye out. You wouldn’t keep your head buried in your phone while walking around a shopping mall or a museum, would you? Plus, when you’re out late at night (which you will be at least once) it’s important to keep your head up. Make sure you have campus security numbers in your phone, and carry pepper spray and a whistle with you.

  3. Protect Your Property: Thieves are common on college campuses, just because everyone brings the latest technology with them to school. Be smart about your belongings; lock your door, and keep a safe for important documents. It can be annoying to take your laptop with you everywhere you go, but you’ll feel a lot better when it hasn’t been stolen at the end of the year.

  4. Cyber security Risks: Protect yourself online, and protect your computer. At college, every important file will be electronic — and if something happens, you’ll want an external hard drive to keep a backup on. Flash drives will also be your best friend. Keep a strong password and have back-ups of everything.

College doesn’t have to be scary, of course, and many campuses are actually very safe. This is really more common sense than anything else. Keep yourself protected, and have a good school year!

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