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Smart tips to keep your student and their possessions safe this school year

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Posted: Sunday, July 6, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 am, Mon Jul 14, 2014.

(BPT) - If you’re on the way to the cabin or in the middle of an amazing family summer vacation, the upcoming school year is probably quite far from your mind. However, school will be here before you know it, and it’s important to make sure your child or teen has all the tips and tools he or she needs to be successful this year. As those helpful - and oftentimes required - educational tools continue to get more expensive, it is in your best interest to teach your children how to keep their property safe.

“With millions of iPads, smart phones and laptops now essential parts of everyday student life, efforts must be made to keep them secure,” says Rebecca Smith with Master Lock. “The new school year can be stressful enough without worrying about losing expensive electronics and other valuables.”

If you plan to make safety part of your back-to-school preparations this fall, the following tips will ensure your student, and his or her possessions, enjoy a safe, productive year.

1. Safety away from the desk. Middle school and high school mean your teen will be traveling around the building much more than they did in elementary school. This extra travel increases the risk of lost or stolen items. To protect these items, find out what locks are provided by the school and what you need to provide yourself. Then look for a padlock like the Master Lock 1500eXD dialSpeed Digital Combination Padlock to keep your teen’s possessions safe. This easy to use lock, which features a set your own combination for easiest recall, provides a measure of safety for your teen and ensures their clothing and electronics remain right where they left them. You may also consider getting one for their gym locker as well so they can participate carefree.

2. Have a back-up plan. Being a student today means more than just protecting your physical possessions. There are plenty of digital files to be worried about as well. As your teen writes longer, more in-depth papers and reports, it’s important to develop a back-up system for these projects. A paper lost to a power outage or computer error could take hours to recreate. Teens can prevent this by saving their work in multiple locations, including at least one cloud-based system that can be accessed anywhere, such as the Master Lock Vault. Students should also save their online passwords and lock combinations there, assuring they’re never without a code they need.

3. Keep the combination secret. The best way for students to protect the items in their lockers is to make sure they are the only person who can access them. This means encouraging them to not share their locker combination with anyone else. Remind your child that even though sharing lockers with his or her best friend or girlfriend/boyfriend may sound like a great idea, it could lead to other unintended people having access to personal belongings inside, putting the contents at risk. And if your student will have a locker partner, make sure that both teens understand the risk of sharing their combinations with anyone outside of their locker partner.

4. Invest in the proper backpack. Not all backpacks are created equal. Your child’s backpack and its contents should amount to no more than 10-20 percent of their body weight. When shopping for a new backpack, select a pack with dual shoulder straps and instruct your child to wear both to dissuade thieves from trying to steal the pack. If your child’s backpack has only one strap, slinging it across the body protects it better than carrying it over one shoulder. A lightweight portable lock like the 1550DAST Backpack Lock is perfect for warding off pickpockets and protecting your child’s possessions. Older students may not want a backpack at all so remind them that carrying one ensures they have all of their materials where they need them and they won’t leave anything behind to be lost or stolen.

You may not be ready to think about the new school year just yet, but the first bell will ring before you know it. Planning proper safety and security procedures ahead of time will ensure your student has an enjoyable year and can focus on getting the most out of each and every class.

For more advice on back-to-school security tips, visit www.masterlock.com.

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