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Keeping your belongings safe at uni

Last updated: 28/11/21

Once you’ve settled into university, you’ll soon be exploring the surrounding area, finding your favourite budget fast food restaurants and getting into a routine with your studies. This new independence is exciting, but you also want to make sure you look after yourself – and your belongings.

We’re Endsleigh – in case you haven’t heard of us, we’re student specialists who have been helping students look after their things at uni for over 56 years. We pride ourselves on using our knowledge to pass on useful tips and tricks to help make students’ lives easier.

Ever thought about what you’d do if someone swiped your phone on a night out? Or if you dropped your laptop off the side of the sofa? Well, those are the types of things we help with.

As with many things, prevention is greater than cure! So we’re bringing you a few things you, as a student, can do to make sure you’re keeping your belongings as safe as possible at uni.

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Don’t use your back pockets

Sure, back pockets seem like a handy place to store stuff (and free your hands for some scrolling through your FYP!), but they’re also one of the worst places you can store valuable items! Think toilet spills, thieving swipes or even falling and cracking your screen.

Try stashing items (especially pricey gadgets!) in your front pocket instead so you can keep an eye on them, or even hold onto them with your hand in your pocket.

If you’re wearing a jacket with a zip or inner pockets, these are ideal places for keeping your phone safe. Just be careful when removing your jacket, as you don’t want this to become lost or stolen with your phone inside it!

Mark your belongings

Many thieves steal items to sell for profit. But they’ll unlikely be able to do this if your item is marked with your details. This may not only deter thieves in the first place, but also make your item easy to return should it end up left somewhere on the side of a road!

If you really can’t bear thinking about ruining the aesthetic of your shiny MacBook, why not consider using a UV pen so that the markings will only show under a UV light?

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Invest in recommended safety accessories

It could be a D-lock for your bike, a strap for your camera, a good quality laptop case for your MacBook or a screen protector for your phone, familiarising yourself with all the relevant safety accessories can mean less risk of both the theft and damage of your favourite items!

Travel sensibly

We’re not saying go cold turkey on Tiktok during a 3-hour train journey, but if you do happen to be carrying a number of expensive gadgets on your travels, maybe make an effort to only use one of them. If you’re using your iPhone, new laptop, iPad and kindle on the train, you may make yourself more of a target to thieves. Also avoid leaving bags unattended!

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Introduce a bathroom ban

Yes, you heard that right! SO much damage could happen to your things in the bathroom. Phone dropped down the toilet. Laptop falling in the bath. The bathroom is not a gadget or valuable item-friendly place! Instead, why not use your relaxing bath time to practice mindfulness, read an (inexpensive) book (maybe a magazine!), or just enjoy some music?

If you’re insistent on taking your phone in the bath with you, maybe invest in a waterproof phone case… just in case the worst happens!

Make sure you’re prepared with antivirus

Onto the boring stuff now! And no, it’s not just laptops that can benefit from antivirus software. You can download free antivirus software (such as Avast) which offers a basic level of protection from malicious software.

There is one exception to this rule: Apple devices.

Because Apple apps are built as secure as possible, with multiple rounds of checking before even being allowed to display on the app store, Apple deems antivirus software as unnecessary. In fact, it’s thought that the best form of protection for Apple users is keeping your iOS up to date.

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Download a device tracker

You can download apps to track your phone and laptop in case they go missing. If you have an Apple device, it’ll already have this built in. Just make sure everything is set up just in case you need to use it.

Keep phones tucked away on nights out

Not in your back pocket. Not in your bra strap. Keeping your phone safe in a bag with a zip or secure pocket will help make sure that the weekly guild night out doesn’t leave you over a grand out of pocket!

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Lock your windows and doors whenever you leave your room

Even if your trust your flatmates with all your heart, you can never be too careful. Even if you’re just nipping to the kitchen for a mid-assignment brew, locking your door will help ensure your belongings are safe in your absence.

Don’t leave valuable items out in public spaces

Phones on tables in restaurants, bags on bars in pubs – all it takes is an opportunistic thief to walk nearby and that’s your phone, keys, purse or maybe all of the above gone in an instant!

Make sure valuables are out of sight in your room

All it takes is for someone to pop their head into your room, or glance through your window to clock any valuable items. Making sure gadgets, jewellery and expensive clothing etc. is put away will hopefully prevent an unwanted burglary.

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Make sure your things are insured

We know, back to the boring stuff! But no matter how careful you are, the fate of your belongings isn’t always in your control. Having insurance in place gives you peace of mind that if something were to happen, you won’t need to splash out to replace your things.

If you’re staying in student accommodation, you may already have student insurance through your accommodation provider! Find out if you’re covered and confirm your cover today on the My Endsleigh app.

From here you’ll be able to view the cover that you have and top it up to include any additional items or circumstances you might need (for example, cover for your bike, or cover for your gadgets whilst you’re away from your student accommodation).

If you’re not covered through your student accommodation, don’t worry! You can still get student contents insurance through our partner, studentGuard. You’ll also get an exclusive 10% discount.

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