Protect your device from theft
With an increasing amount of sensitive data being stored on personal devices, the value and mobility of smartphones, tablets, and laptops make them appealing and easy targets.
Mobile phones, tablets, and laptops continue to provide us with the opportunity to work "on the go," but this added convenience could also mean more risk. These personal devices are making it easier to store and access information, but they are also easy to steal or misplace. Do you know what to do if your device is lost or stolen?
Here are some security tips to help you protect your device from theft:
- Lock your devices. Protecting your mobile devices and computers with a strong password or PIN. This provides an additional layer of protection to your data in the event of theft. Set your devices to lock after a short period of inactivity and lock your computer whenever you walk away.
- Don't leave your device alone, even for a minute! If you're not using it, lock your device in a cabinet or drawer, use a security cable, or take it with you. It's not enough to simply ask the stranger next to you in a library or coffee shop to watch your laptop for a few minutes.
- Install a remote location tracking app on your mobile device and laptop. If your smartphone, tablet, or laptop is lost or stolen, applications such as Find My iPhone/iPad/Mac or Find My Device (Android) can help you to locate your devices or remotely lock and wipe them.
- Encrypt sensitive information. Add an additional layer of protection to your files by using the built-in encryption tools included on your computer's operating system (e.g., BitLocker or FileVault). Visit www.ucd.ie/encryption for more tips.
- Back it up. Set a reminder to backup your data on a regular basis. Keep an external copy of important files stored on your laptop in a safe location in case it is lost or stolen. Your photos, papers, research, and other files are irreplaceable.
- Put the laptop in your boot. Need to leave your laptop or other device in your car? Lock it in your boot (before arriving at your destination). Don't invite criminals to break your car windows by leaving it on the seat.
- Record the serial number. Jot down the serial number of your device and store it in a safe place. This information can be useful for verifying your device if it's found.
- Notify providers. Keep important phone numbers such as your mobile phone provider or IT support department handy so you can quickly report the device as lost or stolen. In some cases the phone service provider or your support desk may be able to deactivate and wipe the device for you remotely.
- File a report. If your device is stolen, file a Garda report immediately.