Equipment security encompasses not only avoiding physical theft of the equipment but keeping the data on the equipment secure as well.
Security has been a top priority since the inception of the Mobile Computing Program. Each student is required to purchase and use a laptop security cable and lock. The Department of Public Safety and Security has also implemented a campaign to remind students to keep their laptops secure. As a result of these actions, the theft rate of university issued laptops has remained below the 2% mark.
Below are some tips on how to keep your laptop secure.
- Use a cable and lock whenever the laptop is left unattended.
- Do not leave the laptop within view when stored in a car. (Ideally, the laptop should not be stored in a car at all.)
- The laptop should not be left unattended on a seat, table or floor in a public place.
- When going through a security check point such as at an airport, give all metal objects on your person to airport security before placing the laptop on the x-ray conveyor. This prevents theft while you are delayed with a hand wand scan.
- Keep the laptop in sight or within contact while taking public transportation.
- Do not leave the laptop unattended in a motel or hotel room or in residential buildings where people you don't know may visit in your absence.
There are also several things that you can do to keep the data on your laptop secure.
- Individual user accounts are set up on each desktop, laptop and tablet distributed by the University. Don't share your account password with anyone and be sure to log out of your account when you are finished working.
- All university purchased equipment has virus protection software installed on it. The software is set up to update the virus definition files automatically and to scan the laptop for viruses on a daily basis. Do not turn off or reduce the frequency of these features. They will not interfere with the processing ability of your equipment.
- All university purchased equipment has firewall software installed. The software is configured to provide the highest level of protection while not interfering with the features of the various academic software applications installed on your laptop. Do not reduce the level of security and demonstrate caution when allowing an action to continue when it has been flagged by the firewall software.
- Windows allows you to share files on your hard drive with others. This can be set up to require a password to view shared files or open access to the files. If you choose to turn on this feature, make sure that you limit the files that you want to share so that you do not leave your entire hard drive open to others.
- E-mail is another source that is often used to transmit computer viruses. Do not open e-mails that look suspicious or form senders that you do not know.
- When surfing the web, various sites may contain pop-ups prompting you download a file or program. Do not proceed with the action unless you trust the site and are positive that you want to install the file or program.
For additional questions regarding protecting your IT equipment or for assistance with the virus protection and firewall software installed on your equipment, contact the Technology Service Desk at 973-275-2222 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on what to do should your laptop get stolen, view the appropriate policies and procedure listed below: