Valuables in dorm (specifically - laptop)

How do students typically store their lap top in a shared dorm room? The room itself would have a lock but unless it is a single I am guessing doors would often be open and people might be coming in and out? Do you need a desk drawer with its own lock and key?

Most “bookstores” offer bike-like locks to attach to the bed post.
You can also purchase the LoJack for Computers from the uni which will be coordinated with the security office to track the location of the computer.

We bought this small safe where our student kept his wallet, passport (needed for on campus job), keys and other valuables. It was intended for his laptop as well but he never used it for that. We put it on a shelf in the closet and used a cable to lock it to the pole.

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We bought a computer lock for our second kid for the laptop. She never used it. Schools emphasized keeping doors locked unless you were in your room. Good practice.

One of my kids had a locked filing cabinet and I suppose he could have put his computer in it…except he was in college when desktops were what folks had!

I just finished up college last year. I never really had a safe for my valuables, but me and my roommates were very good about keeping our door locked. Most dorms will have doors that you can set to automatically lock whenever they close (can lead to being locked out of the room). I did go to a smaller school though, might be different for a larger university.

My kids never had their laptops stolen. We suggested they keep it out of sight if they were not in room because most theft is crime of opportunity. They seem to have taken it to heart.

S did have wallet and cell phone stolen—once when he left it on bench in gym when he want to use bathroom at end of school year. :frowning:

Sometimes if the method you have for kids is too onerous/cumbersome, they won’t do it, despite your best intentions. Safes can be carried off if desired and most kids won’t want to put their things they use frequently in it anyway. Laptops are used daily.

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I am laughing since were do your kids go to college! Lol. Doesn’t every kid carry their laptop like everywhere with them never letting it out of their site… Lol… We just had our kids practice good safety rules. Don’t leave your stuff by itself. At a small lac and or big ten school just never had issues. If had roommates they trusted then never an issue. No safes or locks or 24/7 security guards watching their stuff. Just common sense rules. Yes, things can be taken. It he makes it the next week or so then we are good… (classes end then graduation) :wink:

Best thing you can do is make sure the dorm door is always locked, even if you are just going across the hall to the bathroom.


My kids never had any special locks or safes. As others say, keep the door locked. I also told my kids to keep things like wallet, ids etc, in a drawer so someone casually in the room visiting wouldn’t see them. Neither ever had a problem.

We have a safe deposit box for our important items and the safe served the same purpose for my son while in college. We did use a cable to lock it so it could not be picked up and carried away.

He never put his laptop or cell phone in it but as I mentioned above, he did use it for his wallet (which he rarely carried on his body while in college), back up hard drive, cash, keys to our home, and important documents (passport, lease agreement, birth certificate, etc). He got vaccinated in January and recently needed his card. He searched the room for days and couldn’t find it. After he finally did, he put it in the safe.

To each is own. If your student’s room is clean and organized and he/she has a safe place to store items where they won’t get lost between moves during the 4 years, then don’t bother.

I’ll add that although my son had a U lock and cable, he didn’t always use the cable and had bike tires stolen on multiple occasions and once had his bike seat stolen.

S bought himself and D clunker cheap bikes from police auction for $7. No one wanted to steal them but D was offended they stole her bike chain & lock!

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Yup, just keeping room door locked when not in it. D was only in suite situations in dorms so had I guess “dual protection” of suite door and room door. Nothing ever got stolen; the worst that happened was a Brita jug got lost when the college packed up the rooms the students didn’t get back to after Covid spring break last year. I still can’t figure out how they managed to sort out so well whose stuff was whose in the shared kitchen!

My D has a small safe where most valuables spend their days. Her computer is rarely not with her. When it isn’t, it’s just in the locked apartment - no special additional locks/security.

Just want to put it out there that there are much more important reasons to keep the door locked especially when heading to the bathroom and especially to shower. Sexual assault (occurs in many circumstances ) on campus and can happen when a ‘surprise’ visitor enters at this time. Back in the day, the intruder in our dorm was a townie who managed to strike multiple times before he was caught. Sorry to burst the bubble of college, but I would hand over a thousand laptops rather than have my kid experience such a thing. Also, please lock up all medications too. If someone has a problem, they’ll likely steal the meds first and figure out if they are something of interest later. It can be expensive to have to replace meds as well.

We bought a laptop lock for one of my kids and he never used it. Did not bother with the others. Luckily, nothing got stolen even at the large public Us. I bought the lock because a co-worker’s son had some things stolen at a nice private U. Unfortunately, sounded like it may have been more harassment of this kid than actual stealing.

My son hides his laptop only from neighbors in other rooms. The guys who are in the same room with him are good friends who I don’t think will steal anything from him. And hides the laptop in the closet with clothes or under the mattress.