This blog is my attempt to share information with faculty, introducing new apps, websites, or other snippets of information that may be of use to faculty. I am also using it to keep track of projects I'm working on that might be good to reference in the future.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Safeguarding Laptop - Part 1

One of my projects for Spring Break was to figure out how to cost effectively secure my PC (and then share with other users at school).  After doing some thinking these are the things I wanted to do:
1) Label mobile devices so they can be returned if lost.
2) Backup my system regularly - to include data, passwords, etc.
3) Find a system to track my device/laptop if it gets stolen, or misplaced.
4) Set up a firewall to block incoming and outgoing traffic I don't want (make it more secure)
5) Look into encryption software, or a way to ensure my data doesn't get out if I do have my laptop stolen. Do I use a BIOS password, software, an online password storage/retrieval system.
6) Determine what other security software I may need.

I also wanted to do this for my other mobile devices (phone, tablet) and not just my laptop.

Safeguarding Laptop - Part 1

First thing I wanted to do was label my devices to that if they were lost, someone could easily return them to me.  There are still some very nice people like that, who will return items they find.  If I'm thinking of just mis-placing on campus and don't care about identity theft, then I could just use a label maker and put my name and phone number on right on the device.  This is what I've done for my laptop in the past.

People who are worried about identity theft or travel alot, do not necessarily want to put their name and phone number on a device that may have been stolen.  One company, specializes in helping lost items find their owner.  You register with them and they give you unique identifier numbers.
You then place stickers with this identifier on your items (laptops, luggage, cameras, keys, etc.) and all the finder has to do is go to and enter the ID number and you will be notified that your item was found.

You can order tags from

A free solution is to use google voice to give people who find your items as option to call, text or email you.  If you are worried about identity theft I would recommend creating a new gmail account.  Then create a google voice number to go with that email account. There are no Hawaii numbers, but you can get some from Oregon, Washington or California - or from the East Coast.  Within google voice you can have it forward text messages to your cell phone, and they never know your cell number.  You can also have google voice transcribe voicemails that are left and forward it to your text number or an email account your constantly check.  This give you some animosity in case someone finds your items and tries to steal you identity by looking up the google voice or new email account online - if you don't put much personal info in the new google profile, they will not be able to find out who you are.  You could even create a google site or google forms and create a web address with a fill-in form that emails/texts you when someone enters something into the form.  Here is an example of a tag I created with just my first name, the google voice and gmail account info to contact me.

In most cases just putting a label on your device should be good enough.

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