In a perfect world, a college or university campus should be a safe space. It’s a place for hungry and curious minds to learn and live peacefully. The reality, however, is when you have large groups of people moving about in a large number of buildings, each with hundreds of rooms, you’re left with thousands of potential vulnerability points — access points for criminals to steal or otherwise do harm. So, how do you properly manage student housing keys in a way that minimizes risk and helps keep students, and their belongings safe?
Restrict Access to Campus Keys
When you think of every door as an access point, you realize that your campus keys are either your best tool for security or your greatest point of risk. How you manage those keys determines which is which. Keys, whether mechanical or electronic, should always be secured and issued to staff only as needed. Installing a key control system can help this process. This way, only authorized staff can access lock boxes by use of their IDs (or even fingerprints), and keys can be checked out as needed and returned when the staff is finished. For electronic key systems, you can take this a step further by programming the system to allow staff access only to their authorized areas on campus.
Keep Tabs on your Keys
Every key that gets misplaced becomes a security liability, and with thousands of keys roaming around campus, they are remarkably easy to misplace. Key control systems not only can restrict access to authorized staff — they also create a documented audit trail so can track which keys are checked out to whom, and for how long. The system can also alert you of unusual patterns or behaviors. You’ll know immediately if a key goes missing, and you’ll know who had the key last.
Implement Robust Security Measures
On large campuses, even with strong vetting and background checks in place, sometimes bad guys slip through the cracks. Although you’ve restricted keys to authorized campus staff, how do you protect against violations from within the ranks? Answer: you create additional security features in your key tracking system, implement multi-step security protocols for people accessing keys, keep keys barcoded and placed in randomized positions within the box, and pull reports frequently so you can quickly detect suspicious activity.
If you’re serious about properly managing your campus keys, HandyTrac can provide a secure key control system perfect for your organization’s needs. To learn more, contact us today!