College students and young single Americans tend to be broke most of the time and often find themselves living with a roommate or two and may have to deal with dorm room pilfering. So, even though you may like or even “trust” your roommate(s) — WATCH YOUR STUFF.
Things have a way of disappearing in this scenario, and perhaps slowly. That loose $20 bill or an attended device could be too tempting for a roommate to pass up, plus it could be hard to prove it was stolen. You got to get insurance.
8 Great Tips to Prevent Roommate Pilfering
- Communicate. When first moving in with your new roommate, be sure to discuss what you feel comfortable borrowing or lending out. Letting them know up front if you don’t like sharing food, clothes, electronics or money will help set up a general guideline both of you can follow.
- Don’t leave items out. Leaving something unattended or out in the open increases the opportunity for someone to notice it and take it. Wallets, phones, your keys and ID cards are easy to snatch when you aren’t looking. Hold on to sensitive items, and if you aren’t using them, put them somewhere safe.
- Don’t give out private information. This includes your passwords, social security number or any personal information that could help someone gain access into your room or bank account. Lending out your keys or swipe cards can also put your items at risk.
- Limit what you say on social media. While you may be itching to update your status and post what an amazing deal you got on that new laptop, you’d also be letting everyone know you have a fancy new piece of technology in your room. Be careful what you post.
- Engrave high-value items. Engraving your initials or a personal message on your electronics or other pricier items can make it more difficult for a thief to sell them, possibly deterring them from stealing it all together. It also makes it easier for any items to be returned to you.
- Lock your door. It may sound like common sense, but if you don’t share a bedroom with your roommate, lock your door when you’re not home. Likewise, if your roommate is throwing a party or inviting friends over that you may not trust, locking your door is an easy way to prevent strangers from entering without your permission.
- Invest in a safe. A safe can help you securely store cash, credit cards, jewelry and more. Learn more about what to look for when shopping for a safe.
- Install a security camera. Smart home technology is getting better and more affordable for a college student’s budget. Many security cameras are under $100. Just make sure to tell your roommate you’re installing a camera. Just knowing there’s a camera on the premises can be a deterrent.