College security is essential for the protection of students. During the college period, students gain independence, knowledge, and experience to prepare them for the future. However, during these years, students are also exposed to a number of risks, ranging from theft, violence, and sexual harassment.

A recent survey reported that there were 27,300 crimes on postsecondary campuses during the school year 2019-2020. A forcible sex offense was the most reported crime, followed by burglary and motor vehicle theft.

Although technology is helping colleges reinforce their security measures, students should also take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of falling victim to these crimes. Here are a few college security tips and best safety practices for students.

college security

#1 Store emergency numbers in your phone

Keep the numbers of local security and police on your phone and make sure you have access to your phone at all times. Knowing that you can quickly call help if needed will make you feel safer on campus.


#2 Stay up to date with campus emergency alerts

Most colleges have an app, website, or another system to inform their students of emergency alerts. Keep track of these and be aware of emergencies on campus.


#3 Locate campus security cameras

Knowing where campus cameras are located can be a powerful tool in emergencies. Cameras can work as a deterrent against criminals and can collect evidence in case of a crime. A commercial security installer usually places cameras in prominent locations, such as entrances, exits, and corridors. Walk around the campus to learn the location of each camera. It may come in handy in the future.


#4 Carry pepper spray

There are situations when nobody is around, and we don’t have time to run immediately or call the police. Carrying pepper spray with you at all times can be an effective deterrent. However, keep in mind that, while pepper spray is legal in every state, some states limit its use and size.


#5 Don’t carry large amounts of cash

It’s not advisable to carry large amounts of cash around campus for several reasons, such as losing your wallet or getting robbed. Keep the amount of cash you carry to a minimum. Use a debit or credit card when making larger purchases, if possible.


#6 Be aware of your surroundings

Whenever you are out and about, always be aware of what is happening around you. Pay attention to people who seem to be following you and quickly move away from suspicious individuals.


#7 Keep an eye on your belongings at all time

Whether you are in the library, at the cafeteria, or in another public area, always be aware of your belongings. Don’t leave them unattended even for a few seconds; thieves are often opportunistic and quick to act.


#8 Secure your personal information

Identity theft is a growing concern, and college students can be particularly vulnerable. To

keep your personal information safe, make sure to keep it confidential, use strong passwords and two-factor authentication, and monitor your financial accounts regularly. You can also use an ID theft protection service to set up alerts or notifications to receive immediate notifications of any unusual activity. Comparing each ID protection service for its features and pricing can help you choose the best option for your needs.


#9 Lock all windows

Burglars and other ill-intentioned individuals often use windows to enter student dorms. Properly locking all windows before leaving your room or going to bed is essential to keep your belongings safe and prevent strangers from assaulting you.


#10 Sign up for self-defense classes

Many campuses offer self-defense classes for their students. These classes are usually free and can be a great way to learn essential knowledge and skills to defend yourself from attack. Furthermore, self-defense classes can help you build confidence and feel safer on campus.


#11 Run when you sense danger

If you sense danger, whether you are in your room or in a public area, don’t hesitate to run away if that seems to be the most reasonable way to neutralize the danger. Even if it turns out to be a false alarm, it’s always better to err on the safe side.


#12 Don’t lose control in dangerous situations

If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, try to remain as calm as possible. This will help you assess the situation and act accordingly. Assertive behavior can also be a powerful deterrent, as criminals often target people they perceive as easy targets. To display assertiveness, you should stand tall, hold your head high, and do not be afraid to make eye contact.


#13 Don’t hesitate to call for help

Many people are embarrassed to ask for help from random strangers or the authorities. However, calling for help can make the difference between a positive and a negative outcome in dangerous scenarios.

college security

In Conclusion

While the college experience is mostly full of excitement, personal growth, and general positivity, students must be well-prepared for the dangers that can come with their new-found independence. Primarily, new students must ensure that they understand how to contact relevant authorities, are up-to-date with campus security systems, and always remain aware of their surroundings.

It’s wise for students to have some form of personal defense plan in place to ensure they’re prepared for any potential incidents, whether that’s carrying a deterrent like pepper spray or learning some form of physical self-defense. They should also feel comfortable calling for help.

Additionally, preventative measures can be incredibly effective such as only carrying small amounts of cash, securing all personal information, and ensuring that your room is always fully locked. Though if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, try to remain calm and never be afraid to run if the opportunity arises. Stick to these tips for a safe and happy college experience.

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