April 14, 2015
Securing Your Belongings When You’re on the Go
Spring is finally here, and with it comes a flurry of traveling. Students are traveling to and from school, business trips increase, and personal vacations are on the rise. One of the most important aspects of moving around in unfamiliar territory is ensuring your possessions’ safety.
The average student carries nearly $8,900 worth of goods to his or her university residence, and families often travel with $3,000 worth of electronics, clothing, and other belongings. Criminals often target people who appear to be traveling and out of their element. Authorities have a harder time tracking your goods, so it pays to be careful. Here are some methods from All Secured to help you keep your stuff safe:
1. Think about sightlines. Never leave your smart phone, GPS, or iPod in the car in view of the windows. Hotel windows are also dangerous, doubly so if you are rooming on the ground floor. If you are traveling by plane, train, or some other communal service, lock up your things and pay attention to where your goods are before you fall asleep. Anything that can be seen by a thief will become a temptation.
2. Write your name and address on the important things. Consider applying small stickers with your name, email, and home address on your most expensive personal belongings. Your laptop and tablet are prime candidates. There is a chance you may accidentally leave it somewhere and a Good Samaritan will find it before someone else shows up. If finding the owner seems too daunting, he or she will be less inclined to return the item.
3. Make electronics unusable. Laptops have programs that can be installed which let you remotely shut down the device if someone steals it. Mobile phones come with this feature preinstalled. It is called the mobile IMEI number. You can find the number by typing #06# on your phone. Write it down and hide it someplace. This lets you shut down the phone if it gets stolen or lost.
4. Use cloud storage. Cloud storage is great, and as long as you continually back up your data throughout the trip (set it up so this is done automatically to avoid hassle), you can save photos, work documents, and more.
5. Always lock the door. Every door, always.
6. Because it bears repeating: Always lock the door.
7. Purchase insurance. Students away at school can ill-afford to replace their much-needed laptop in the event of a break-in or bag theft at the library. Content insurance policies cost next to nothing and can at least replace the lost items.
8. Do not advertise your trip. For some reason, people want to make a big deal about going out of town by blasting the news over Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of their social accounts. DO NOT DO THIS. Surprisingly, most home break-ins are done by people you know. Your kid’s friends (or people 1-2 degrees from their social circle), co-workers, or unscrupulous family members may all be suspect. Show the photos and jabber about the trip after you arrive home.
9. Use locked luggage. Cheap luggage comes with cheap locks. It is best to splurge a little to protect your things. Good luggage not only comes with its own lock, but you can install a second lock to protect your goods.
10. If you have a gym membership, always bring a lock and store your keys and phone away.
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