Broke and don’t have a lot to steal? Think again! What if you lost your laptop, or your entire wardrobe? Burglars are more inclined than you think to break into student flats, especially in Auckland where we still have one of the highest crime rates out of any city in NZ.
We’re not going to harp on about window locking and that spare key under the front door mat, but what we can do is cover three of the most important aspects of home security that all students should be concerned about.
1. Laptop security
2. Insurance and self-insurance
3. Car security
Backing up your laptop is so easy, with a huge selection of free and almost free cloud backup services. At a minimum you should be saving all your critical work and documents in a cloud backed-up folder.
Dropbox is the most popular cloud backup choice and gives you 2GB free across multiple devices – more than enough for all your important documents. If you need more space check out Symform, which gives you 10GB free. If you want to back up your whole computer as cheaply as possible at just 1.2 cents per month check out Amazon Glacier.
Insurance can be equally easy. If you’re living away from home, the first thing to do is to call mum and get her to check if their home and contents coverage includes dependents living away from home. You might be in luck! If you don’t qualify for insurance via the parents then you’re looking at less than $200 a year in premiums and a $200 excess if something goes wrong.
Another back-up option is to self-insure by keeping a separate ’emergency’ account for when things go bad. Set up and forget an AP that sends around 10 bucks a week into your disaster account. Make sure you set strict rules about under what circumstances you are allowed to dig into the emergency account! Self-insurance is cool as you’re not forking out money on premiums that you are never going to see again, and it works particularly well if you don’t have much in the way of valuable stuff to insure.
On the car security front, you might like to think about getting your car alarmed. This is especially true if you have a fancy stereo (note that this means a full booming set-up – for the most part thieves won’t bother with your $200 aftermarket pioneer head deck). Interestingly, though, if you check out this year’s top 10 stolen car list, it never seems to be the late model BMWs that get taken. The average value of the top 10 is just under 5 grand! If you’re on this list you may also like to think about getting your car alarmed.
Check out the infographic for some cheap and easy ways to improve your flat security. Look out for the green house logo which highlights security improvements you should be able to talk your landlord into getting done for you!