What are the best personal security tips for students on campus? How can students protect and defend themselves against crime and violence? What is the best security advice for students to avoid dangerous confrontations and situations? Well, I suggest you read on.
As a college or university student, chances are that, you are thinking of your friends, the late night adventures, the virtual freedom from your parents’ supervision, and your favorite games. But you are less than likely to think about one very important factor; “Campus security.” As an individual that is currently in a higher institution in Nigeria, I know the hazards and travails students go through on daily basis. And I want to point out that this situation is only peculiar to Nigeria; because the same security challenges are experienced in the United States, Canada, Ghana, South Africa, Russia, Ukraine, etc.
Now while on school campus, students are exposed to many security challenges such as bullying, violence, rape, robbery, etc. So, it is very important for them to know how to protect themselves from these threats or better still, avoid it entirely. So if you are a college or university student, then this article is for you. Without boring you with the long details, below are the best proven security tips for ensuring your safety on campus.
1. Keep your valuables cautiously and don’t tell your friends about it
One of the mistakes students make is leaving their valuables lying unprotected. If you are anything like such students, then changing now is better for you. Do not leave your textbooks, phone, laptop, jewelries, and other valuables carelessly all over the place. Lock them up in your cupboard when you don’t need them. Dormitory or hotels are public places that anyone can enter; an intruder may enter your dorm and cart away your valuables if they are not well kept.
2. Keep your dorm room secure
If the door to your dorm is not very intact, you need to inform the appropriate personnel so that it would be fixed. The same applies if you stay alone in a room. But if you stay off-campus, then you must ensure that you have a good Grade-A lock. You can also install a basic alarm system that would alert you when danger looms. (Wireless alarm systems are a perfect choice because they are easy to install and remove, and they are affordable).
3. Use the buddy system
What this means is that you should never walk alone. There is power in numbers; the larger your group, the lesser your chance of being attacked. This precaution should be particularly observed at night and whenever you need to walk past silent or desolated places. When returning from reading sessions or church services at night, make sure you walk in group. The greater the number of people you walk with; the better and safer for you. However, you should not use this principle as excuse to join a campus cult or gang; as there is no safety or protection in them.
4. Watch your utterances on social media
While social media is great for interacting with friends and relatives, it could be a good trap set by you to catch yourself. If your Facebook status reads, “Will catch fun at the bar by 4pm today” or “Just chilling with friends at the beach side”, you are indirectly disclosing details of your whereabouts and movement plans. So, if some unknown assailants have been trailing you, they will easily get you through those words you wrote with your own hands.
5. Disclose your whereabouts to close friends
While it is risky to reveal your whereabouts or schedule on social media, disclosing this to your roommates or close friends is a good safety measure. Let someone know where you are going, who you are going to meet, when you are likely to be back, and your aim of going to the place. This precaution is even more necessary when you are going off campus. However, you should be careful of who you reveal your itinerary to.
6. Store all emergency phone numbers
It is interesting how one tends to forget very simple details in the face of crisis. Yes, under threatening circumstances you can forget even your own phone number! So, a good tip is to have all emergency numbers stored on your mobile device. This way, you will easily dial the right numbers when faced with a life threatening challenge.
7. Report any strange sight
Always act by the popular statement that goes, “If you see something, say something”. In other words, whenever you see, feel, or hear something strange, raise an alarm or make a report immediately. Keeping silent may be very dangerous and may lead to terrible consequences. It is better for you to make a wrong report than keep quiet and risk your life and those of your fellows. However, when making such report, you should consider your own safety first so I advice you make the report anonymously.
8. Avoid disclosing personal details to strangers
One foolish thing that students do is to disclose their personal details to people that they never knew before. Most of the time, this happens during chat sessions or dates. Raise your red flag when a stranger starts asking you some personal questions during a date or chat session. Such a stranger could be very dangerous.
9. Watch what enters your mouth
Never accept food or drink from someone who is strange to you. If you didn’t see the food or drink being made, never take it (unless it’s canned or bottled). Always keep your eyes on your food or drink during a party or date.
10. Learn basic self-defense techniques
It pays to know how to defend yourself or escape from dangerous situations. Yes, I have already started learning self defense and martial arts , and it helped me a great deal. You can learn basic self-defense tips from your friends, from videos that can be downloaded online, from books, and from blogs and other online resources. Better still, I advice you sign up in a martial art club in your school; the most popular being Taekwondo. With a good knowledge of self-defense, you will be able to defend yourself and get out of crisis.
In conclusion, it is advisable that you avoid any meeting, engagement or friendship with a gang member or campus cultist; as they have a high tendency of betrayal and might get you into serious trouble. It is important you know that one of the best ways to ensure a fulfilling college experience is to stay vigilant and take responsibility for your security. Follow the ten tips discussed in this article, and you will have very little or no security problems during your stay on campus.