Physical Security: Laptops, Mobile Devices, Thumbdrives / Smart Cards / Memory Sticks
Protecting your laptop, small mobile devices, and your even smaller thumbdrives / smart cards / memory sticks from theft is much easier than trying to recover any of them later. A few simple steps can save you lost files, time, maybe even your identity or job.
- Keep it close. It's always best to keep your laptop within reach and your small devices in a safe place right on your person whenever possible.
- Lock it down. Secure your laptop with a cable lock, which you can find at the Brown Technology Center as well as online. For serious lock-downs, visit Computer Security Products, offering laptop tie-down brackets and anti-theft tags.
- Have an alarm? Turn it on! Motion detectors/alarms, such as Laptop Defender start at around $30.
- Lock your room when you leave to protect your valuables, even if it's for a short time.
- For more tips, read the "Laptop Disappearing Act", which first appeared in the Sep 2008 edition of Secure IT!
- Secure your flash drive. Encrypt its contents, as in these products.
- Make a record of key information. Document your laptop's serial number, MAC addresses (local area connection as well wireless) and other vitals. In the event of a theft, these will be helpful for public safety/police reports as well as trying to track it down on Brown's network. Not sure how to capture your MAC addresses? You can find instructions here.
- Print out and store the document in a safe place. You may also want a paper record of key contact names and numbers should you lose a cell phone.
- Track it: Install a tracking program like FrontDoor Laptop Security Software, free download from Public Safety's website, or Computrace (Lojack for Laptops), which provides three years of coverage for $79.00, available at the Bookstore Technology Center.
- Mark it: Have the Department of Public Safety engrave and register it. Details on this free service on DPS's Laptop Safety web page.
- If missing, report it: If your laptop is stolen, contact DPS immediately.
- Check the Brown network: If you believe that your laptop may still be on campus and want to determine where, contact the CIS Help Desk with your MAC information for further assistance.
- Common Sense: Keep your eyes open and your wits about you, if you want to keep your laptop, mobile device or memory cards.
- Preparing for a trip? Is your laptop ready for wireless in the wild? Complete this one page checklist before you go:
ISG Checklist "Laptop Security for the Traveler
- You may also wish to share the information with friends or co-workers. The following slides provide a detailed overview:
ISG Slide Presentation "Laptop Security for the Traveler
- Secure IT!, Jan 2009: Focus on Mobile Security
- Secure IT!, May 2008: Laptop Loss = Security Breach?