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Device Protection

a young woman multitasks between a phone call and a tablet

On a safe university campus, you probably don't worry too much about leaving your device alone momentarily. At the same time, if something were to happen to a device of yours, it could be quite embarrassing or expensive. At worst, you could lose crucial personal information or suffer reputational damage. Fortunately for all, protecting a device is quite simple.

Be Smart

Treat your device like money. You wouldn’t leave cash on a seat in the airport or bus—why treat an expensive device any differently?

Lock Your Screen

If you are on a computer, lock your screen when you need to step away from it. Make sure that you set up the option to require reauthentication when logging back in. The following shortcuts make this a cinch:

Windows ⊞ (Windows Key) + L
MacCommand + Shift + Power Button

Keep Your Antivirus/Malware Software Updated

Be sure that your antivirus/malware software is installed and up-to-date. Learn more in our article about about antivirus software.

Lock the Door

If you have an electronic device in an office environment, when you leave your office be sure to lock your device—and the door (if applicable). This will prevent those that are unauthorized from gaining access to your device.

Keep Valuables in a Safe Place

Make sure to keep any valuable paper work, or paper records of passwords in a safe place. Never store password records in your laptop case. To be the most secure, avoid having paper records of passwords all together. Learn more in our article about about passwords.

Store Laptops Safely

Never leave your laptop in your car—leaving your laptop in your car makes it an easy target for thieves. Depending on your surroundings, it may be useful to store your laptop in something other than a laptop case—this can help disguise it so it is less obvious that you have something valuable.

What should I Do if My Device is Lost or Stolen?

If you rented it from the university

With rented equipment, report the theft/loss to AV support or IT Department. Report the theft to the city police in the area where the device is lost or stolen.

If it's work equipment from the university

With work equipment, report the theft/loss to your manager, IT, and the police.

If it's a personal device

If your personal computer/device is lost or stolen, report the loss/theft to the police where the loss occurred. If your personal computer or device has been stolen, and you are concerned that your information may be used for identity theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website for more information.


Virus and Malware Protection

Learn about the different kinds of malware that exist, and how to prevent, detect and respond to them.


Learn how to change your password, how to create a security question, and how to create passwords that protect your account.

Software Updates

Learn why keeping the operating system on your devices up to date is actually a very important security precaution.

Internet Safety

Learn how to protect yourself from being scammed, tricked, or hacked while surfing the web.

Social Media

Learn what steps you can take to ensure that your social media accounts are protected.


Learn how to identify and avoid scam emails, texts, and more. Phishing scams steal personal info on a regular basis.

Two-Factor Authentication

Learn how 2-Factor Authentication services like DUO protect your account from hackers and accidental access.


Learn the difference between secured and unsecured Wi-Fi networks and how to be safe when connecting to a wireless network.

Backing Up Your Data

Learn about different data storage options and consider which options are best for your needs.

Social Engineering

Learn about methods criminals might use to obtain your information by building false trust.

Working and Studying from Home

Learn how to be healthy and secure while following shelter-in-place instructions