Heading off to university? Get in the know on how to stay safe

The bags are packed, your family keep pestering you about looking after yourself, you’re ready to party: Freshers’ Week is calling you! How much do you know about staying safe?

Credit: Police Scotland

You can’t quite enjoy the festivities of uni, making new pals, going to class, appreciating the change of scenery, if you end up somewhere you didn’t intend.

We’re not talking silly purchases to far off lands after a merry old time with your mates. No, we’re talking about making sure your safety isn’t compromised whilst you’re busy having all this fun. That’s why Police Scotland are encouraging people to be safe: just like their stickman mascot, Alex.

HOME SWEET HOME

You may be flying the nest in a couple of weeks, so being aware of where you’re moving to is important. Research any property that you’re moving in to and get in contact with your new flatmates to establish a relationship with them. This is not the time to find out you’ve been scammed out of your property.

Police Scotland is encouraging students to be aware of their surroundings as this is a busy period for criminals. With all the hilarity of moving house, getting settled into your new local haunts, and not paying the most attention: criminals can thrive at this time of year.

Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland, says: “The start of term is such a busy and exciting time for students, many of whom will be spending time in a new environment on campus or living away from home for the first time.

“University can be one of the best times of your life but it can also be a difficult adjustment which comes with a big increase in personal responsibility. We encourage all students to follow Police Scotland’s advice to stay safe online, at home and out and about alone or with friends.

“Everyone should know that it’s OK to find yourself needing help and much better to ask than to struggle alone.”

ON THE NET

Being vigilant when it comes to answering phone calls and what you’re posting online is important, too. Criminals have been known to call students and send fraudulent emails claiming to be loans departments or requiring additional information for accommodation – if you’re unsure don’t click any links! Ask your parents what information you should or shouldn’t give out.

We all know going to uni or college means meeting new people and making friends. However, posting something on social media that seems hilarious and fun might not be such a bright idea in the future. It could also jeopardise any future career prospects. For this reason, only accept people you know in real life onto your social media accounts: you wouldn’t want someone you don’t know posting content that could land you un trouble.

Similarly, ensure that you register your belongings (which you can do here) meaning it will be returned if it does get stolen. A their can sell something that has been registered! If you’re looking for additional advice on how to keep yourself and your belonging safe, Police Scotland will be present at many Freshers’ events so come armed with questions.

More information on staying safe can be found on the Police Scotland website and their social media accounts.

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