Physically secure your devices

Your computer or laptop is the primary tool to access, store, and create your files, some of which are confidential. It's becoming easier to access and store important information on other devices as well, especially mobile ones. Computers and mobile devices offer quick access to the information you need: email, UDSIS, your bank's site, Facebook, etc.—easy for you, and just as easy for anyone else who gets hold of your devices.

To protect your confidential files and other information including usernames and passwords, you must protect your devices from damage and theft, and you must prevent others from easily accessing your information in the event that your devices are stolen. Refer to the guidelines below for more information.

Guidelines

  • Do NOT leave your devices unattended in public areas.
  • Plug your computer in to a power strip to prevent damage from electrical surges.
  • Require a secure password to begin using your computer from boot or screen saver (i.e., set a password to log in to and wake the device).
  • Ensure that no one can see your usernames and passwords as you enter them—also called "shoulder surfing"—especially on mobile devices.
  • Consider locking your computer to a desk or other piece of furniture.
  • Back up your files regularly to prevent losing them if someone steals your device.
  • Students: Register your devices with the University's Public Safety department.

More information

LoJack (AbsoluteSoftware)
Commercial application to track and potentially recover a stolen computer.

Prey
Open source application for tracking your computer or Android phone.

Find my iPhone (Apple)
If you subscribe to Apple's MobileMe service, this app will allow you to track your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad if you lose them.