- Home Improvement
Best Portable Safes and Personal Lock Boxes for Dorm Room Security
A Small Portable Lock Box Keeps the Student's Valuables Secure
College students have more valuables to take care of than ever before - electronics, bank cards, passport, keys - all very tempting to a thief. It makes good common sense to keep your valuable gear locked up in a personal safe or lock box.
Security in a college dorm is usually pretty good these days, but let's be realistic. How well do you know your new roommate? Do you trust every single guest who comes into your dorm room? Did your room mate remember to lock the door to prevent theft, if he left the apartment after you did? (Don't get me started on my old roomie, first term in freshman year!) And what about those times - let's be honest, it happens - when you leave your room door unlocked "for just a minute" while you dash down the hall for a quick chat?
A small vault-style dorm safe or a personal lockbox with a cable tether or bracket, attached to a solid piece of furniture like your bed, can save you a lot of heartache - not to mention the hassle and expense of replacing stolen items. Better safe than sorry!
My top pick for all-purpose security: 's 7-inch steel cube with combination lock, attaches to a dormitory bed or dresser, radiator pipe, or other immovable object using internal bolts that can't be unfastened without first opening the vault itself. It's a simple, clever, effective solution to keeping your valuable essentials safe from a passing thief just looking for temptation and opportunity. DormVault
Personal Cube Safe - Steel Dorm Vault Safe Attaches Securely with No Harm to Furniture
This compact 7-inch steel cube safe is designed to attach to your dorm room bed or other built-ins without the need for tools - and no damage to the furniture, of course - with a bracket and wingnut/bolt assembly. At home in an apartment, where the options are less limited, I might think about securing the safe to a drainpipe under the kitchen sink or some similar place where the unit would be tucked away out of sight as well as attached to something that can't be moved quickly and easily.
Compact 7-inch steel cube safe is designed to attach to your dorm room bed or other built-ins without the need for tools - and no damage to the furniture, of course - with a bracket and wingnut/bolt assembly. Combination padlock is included.
Small Portable Security Safes - Ideal for Dorm Rooms, Travel
If the cube doesn't do it for you, here are a few other small lockboxes and mini vaults that will work very well for dorm rooms, a shared apartment, or in your RV if you're travelling.
This one has an electronic lock with keypad, which runs off two AA batteries - but you can override the electronics with a good old-fashioned key in case the batteries die or you forget the pass code. Serious security that's pry-proof and fortified against having the lock drilled out, this safe is also made so you can bolt it to your floor for extra protection.
Slim enough to slide under a bed on its built-in wheels, this sturdy and convenient safe comes with a tough 71-inch long cable to anchor it so it can't be carried off - the only way the cable can be removed is if the lockbox is open. Measuring 26.5 x 16.3 x 5.8 inches, it's plenty big to hold your laptop as well as all those small valuables you don't want to leave unattended.
Protecting Your Stuff "On the Go" - What about a Personal Safe / Lockbox that comes with a Cable Tether?
It may be most convenient and sensible to have one slightly larger safe for in the dormitory itself, anchored or tethered to stay in place, to hold most of your valuables - and then a smaller personal-sized lockbox you can grab-and-go easily to keep your most-used essentials both safe and close at hand when you need them.
Small Personal Lockbox with Cable Tether to Protect Your Cash and Small Valuables
A small and very discreet locking safe box is often all you need, but of course you'll want to choose one with a secure cable to anchor it to a piece of heavy furniture or an immovable structural element such as a pipe of built-in, so a thief can't just pick up your lockbox and walk off with it - and with everything you've put inside, too!
Smaller lockboxes, sized just right to hold your phone and keys, will come in handy when you're in the shower or on the playing field, or you've just stepped away from your desk for a moment.
To Buy a Small Portable Safe
...or a Very Small Portable Safe? Size Does Matter!
To help figure out what size of dorm safe you'll need, gather together all of those the valuables you'll want to lock up for safety, and put them into the smallest cardboard box they'll all fit inside. That will give you a general sense of the capacity you'll need in cubic inches, to help you gauge the general size to look at.
But, as anyone who has packed a suitcase will know, how you arrange the objects can make a difference in how well they'll all fit into the box!
So if you have mostly thin flat items to stash away, like your charge cards and cellphone, you'd be able to do with a lockbox that's more wide and long, maybe not so deep. On the other hand, to lock up your snazzy DSLR camera will need a more cube-shaped safe. Bear in mind the size you'll need in terms of the dimensions (height, width and depth) as well as the volume in cubic inches.
Do allow for a little extra space, in your calculations for the perfect size for your dorm safe. College life is too busy to spend a lot of time very carefully re-packing a lockbox, fitting all the valuable stuff back into it like some kind of puzzle - you're much more likely to want to just grab-and-go! And what if you get a new piece of gear at some time during the term? Gotta have somewhere to put it, too!
Portable Personal Safe / Lockbox - Fashionable Case Design with Combination Lock and Tether
Water-resistant, cushioned inside, and totally portable, the attractive MasterLock case is one of the most popular lockbox styles for people with an active lifestyle. Anchor it to the fence while you're on the tennis court, or to your work station when you're on the job. You don't even have to take your devices out of the case to use or charge them, thanks to a port for charging cable or earbuds. The built-in cable wraps tightly around the case when you don't need it, or you can use it as a handy carrying handle!
Also available in Gunmetal Grey and White
More Advice for Dorm Theft Prevention
Better Security for College Students' Belongings
I'm building a little list here of resources I've found, which I started to seek out when Favorite Niece was getting ready to go off to university on the other side of the country last fall. You may find some of these pages useful - all of these are straight from the orientation pages of American university and college websites, tailored to the student experience.
Theft Prevention In Campus Buildings | Safety Counts
UC Berkeley provides tips to discourage would-be thieves in residence halls, along with other crime prevention initiatives.
Brown University Department of Public Safety | Laptop Safety
The Brown University Department of Public Safety gives tips on how to prevent theft of laptops and other portable electronic devices.