Laptop Security


Laptop computers face the same risks that desktop computers face, but are easier to steal. In addition to the practices described in the Cyber-safety Basics, laptop owners should be aware of these laptop security practices:

  1. Use a cable lock to secure your laptop to a large and/or stationary item, such as a desk. Some cables set off an alarm when cut or disconnected.
  2. Don't leave an unlocked laptop in public places, including libraries or study lounges.
  3. If you must leave your laptop in your car, put it in your trunk or anywhere out of sight. Lock your doors!
  4. Carry your laptop in a non-descript case, not a computer bag.
  5. Prevent thieves from accessing information on your laptop by requiring a password to access your computer. 
  6. Disable any guest accounts.
  7. Don’t use any feature that permits your computer to remember your passwords.
  8. Record and safeguard the serial number of your laptop computer.
  9. Consider using a service that can track stolen computers. To prevent access to sensitive data, some vendors offer a remote erase function.
  10. Inspect your computer for personal identity data and move files with such data to an encrypted USB drive. Personal identity data includes your name and Social Security number, financial account number, driver’s license number or health information. Or, encrypt all data on your laptop. For help finding identity data, get Identity Finder Home Edition. See for more information.

Identity Finder Enterprise Edition is available for use on faculty and staff computers. Contact your technical support staff for more information.