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Top 5 Tips to Prevent Theft at College

College theft is now so prevalent that some consider it a natural rite of college like gaining 15 pounds your freshman year.

With an array of i- products from iPhones to iPads, young people's most valuable possessions are increasingly portable and easily stolen.

And when one of these devices is stolen, you not only lose the device, but you also lose all the information contained in the device like your personal information and passwords. This makes you an easy candidate for identity theft.

However, students are not completely vulnerable to college theft, and these five tips from the Wall Street Journal can help you protect your valuables.

  1. Leave valuables at home. You don't always need to take your gadgets with you everywhere you go. Leave the laptop at home if you're not going to use it. And consider cleaning out your wallet, so that you only carry the necessary items.

  2. Take inventory. Make a list of what you take with you to school. Students are usually the last ones to report theft, because it usually takes them weeks to realize that something is missing. Have a list of your valuables and make sure to check it every once in a while to account for what's missing.

  3. Don't leave items unattended. If you study in the library or spend time in common areas, make sure you take your belongings with you when you go to the restroom or make a telephone call outside. You can also ask your friends to keep an eye out.

  4. Keep financial documents in a safe place. Any document that contains important personal information like your credit card statements should be stored and put away properly. These documents offer a treasure trove of information to identity thieves.

  5. Be careful about online information. Young people have a tendency to share everything on social media sites like Facebook. You will want to exercise discretion when posting any personal information on a public site.

If you fall victim to college theft, make sure you notify the authorities. If you lose personal information, you may want to update your passwords and take steps to avoid identity theft.

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