The practices listed below do not cover all potential risks, but will significantly minimize the likelihood of theft, loss or damage to university equipment and information. They may apply to one type of device and not another; the user is responsible for applying the measures appropriate to the device.
- If you travel with a notebook, you should always make sure that you have the notebook case, including all its contents, over your shoulder before you leave the plane, taxi or train. When passing through a security checkpoint, keep your eyes on the device and pick it up as soon as possible.
- Make a record of the make and model of the notebook and any serial or company identification number on the equipment and store the record in a separate safe place.
- If you must leave a notebook or other device in a vehicle, put it out of sight and lock the vehicle or lock it in the trunk. Do not leave equipment in the vehicle at all in very cold or very hot weather, as extreme temperatures may cause damage.
- In an office or work area shared with others, or in an area accessible by the public, either secure the notebook, or other device, or keep it with you at all times. Never leave it alone in a conference room, hotel room or on an airplane seat, etc. Make arrangements to lock the device in a hotel safe, or take it with you. In the office, always use a lockdown cable. When leaving the office for the day, secure the notebook and any other sensitive material in a locked drawer or cabinet.
- Back up your data frequently and store the files in a safe location separate from the notebook or other device.
- Encrypt or password-protect each file containing confidential and/or sensitive university information. Make passwords difficult to crack. A mixture of special characters, numbers, and upper and lower case letters is considered the most secure but only if passwords are not stored on the hard disk. If your notebook comes with biometrics software (such as fingerprint imaging) configure the notebook to use it.
- Sensitive and/or Critical information includes, but is not limited to:
- Restrict plug and play. Plug and Play is convenient, but can sometimes be dangerous: if someone connects a USB flash drive, MP3 player or external hard disk drive to a notebook, it is recognized automatically and it is then easy to start exporting data.
- If your notebook is lost or stolen file a report with the Department of Public Safety and report the device’s serial number as lost or stolen to the IT Services Help Desk.