Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keeping Track of Stuff

Did you get a new device over the break? Perhaps you are long past looking for a bicycle under the Christmas tree – maybe you have to buy your own toys and tools. But no matter how you got your bike, iPad, Android phone, or laptop, it's a good idea to keep track of it.
Did you know that you can register bicycles and electronics with the UW Police? They keep track of the serial number and other identifying information and if, heaven forbid, something is lost or stolen, that registration can help get it back to you when it's found. You can get a sticker from the UW Police to show that you've registered your bike or device, and that might deter some thieves.
The best deterrence is keeping an eye on your things. If you need to take a bathroom break or a coffee break, take your things with you or have a friend watch them. It doesn't take long for a thief to pick up a laptop!
You can buy a security cable to lock your laptop. All of the Law Library's tables and carrels have brackets underneath to anchor the cables. The University Book Store Tech Center carries at least one kind. Or to see a lot, visit Amazon.com and search for laptop security cable.
And of course, thieves who take you whole device are not the only threat. You also don't want your computing life messed up by viruses, crashes, or identity thieves. See UW IT Connect's page on Safe and Secure Computing. See also Six Tips to Safeguard Your Mobile Devices, Law Technology News, Jan. 2, 2011.

Graphic: cartoon of iPad under the tree, drawn on my iPad, which I just registered with UWPD.

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