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College campuses are compact and full of strangers.  Here are some tips for students heading off to college:

1. Leave valuables at home.

Keep expensive items—especially those you can't replace—at home.   Take only the items you need and leaving items, such as your Social Security card or your grandmother's heirloom jewelry, at home.

2. Take inventory.

Take pictures or videos and create a list of what you're taking with you to school. A checklist will help you remember what you have

3. Don't leave items unattended.

Studious young adults will spend plenty of time in the school's library, for example, and might be tempted to leave their belongings including laptops and cellphones unattended at times.

4. Keep financial documents in a safe place.

Credit-card statements, phone bills—anything that has your account number, Social Security number or date of birth on it—should be kept in a safe place, such as a locked drawer. Better yet, cancel your paper statements and get them electronically instead.

5. Be careful about online information.

What you put on social-media websites can be used against you.  Get personal injury coverage.

If someone has your name, address and birthday, they might be able to call and obtain information on a financial account of yours, says Stephen Coggeshall, chief technology officer of ID Analytics, a consumer risk-management company. With that information, they might also be able to apply for a credit card or cellphone, simply making up information for fields they don't know, such as your Social Security number. Get identity theft coverage

Make sure to create strong passwords for your accounts, and lock your smartphone with a password as well.

If you have questions about your student's coverages on your Houston home insurance, please contact me at

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