Written by James Pinniger
A recent survey by Student Insurance Provider, Endsleigh, found that university students are at increasing risk of theft of valuable possessions as they move away from home this year.
Two thirds of the students surveyed admitted they have concerns about security whilst at university and theft is a reality for many. Of those who are victims of theft, two in five students had their phone stolen whilst they were out and about, and almost a quarter have had their laptops stolen on campus.
However, students are currently more concerned about the cost of replacing lost phones or laptops than the risk of ID theft as a consequence of the loss. This is despite nearly a fifth of students stating they have been a victim of ID theft themselves.
If they lost their laptop, most students would be more concerned with the cost of replacing it, or losing coursework that was saved on it, then with potential ID theft as a consequence.
Endsleigh’s study indicates that the average university student today owns £3,375 worth of possessions, When asked students to reveal their most prized or sentimental possession, responses ranged from the traditional heirlooms, such as jewellery and toys, to the unusual including a 1940s architect standard pedestal desk, a tenor horn, a stuffed animal, a zodiac cross-stitch picture, grandfather’s hunting whip, Harry Potter limited edition boxset, a coffee machine, vintage fender guitar, signed Aston Villa football
The student insurance provider, founded by NUS over 50 years ago, is urging students and parents to take steps to keep their possessions safe, and offers five practical tips to keep student possessions safe:
- Lock your windows and doors – Make sure you lock your windows and doors when you’re not in your room. It may seem like common sense, but it can often be easy to forget, especially if you’re trying to make friends with an ‘open-door’ policy. Keeping your door unlocked whilst you were out, could also invalidate any claim you make.
- Get insurance – In the event that your gadgets or possessions get stolen or lost, it can have a big impact on your time at uni. Make sure you have the right level of cover to protect your possessions and gadgets.
- Keep valuables locked and out of sight – When you are away from your accommodation, always hide your valuable items away from view; and when it’s practical, lock devices. Laptops come equipped with a small hole with which you can affix a ‘Kensington Lock’, securing the device to a cable anchored in your room.
- Bike safety – Invest in a good quality lock. Try and find one with either a ‘Solid Gold, Silver or Bronze’ rating as these will be the most secure. Securely lock your cycle to a fixed object, preferably a purpose built bicycle shed or stand, not a signpost or fence.
- Back up your devices – You can replace your possessions, however it’s not so easy to replace irreplaceable photos and vital course work. It’s good practice to back up your laptop regularly.
- Students concerned about ID theft should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. For more information visit: www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud_protection/identity_fraud