Mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones provide easy access to computing resources. However, the small size and portability of these devices mean they can be easily lost or stolen. It is important to take steps to ensure the safety of these devices and any confidential information they may be used to access, including university records, financial accounts, and any other sensitive data.

Securing Your Personal Device

  • Set up encryption on your device.
  • Keep mobile devices with you or stored in a secured location when not in use. Do not leave mobile devices unattended in public locations.
  • Mobile devices should be password protected with auto-lock enabled so that authentication is required after a period of inactivity. Do not enable auto logon upon computer startup.
  • Lock your device when you walk away. On Windows, press Win + L keys. On Mac, press Ctrl + Cmd + Q keys. On Linux, press Ctrl + Alt + L keys.
  • Set up endpoint management with location tracking and data wipe features on your personal devices in case they are lost or stolen. Following are examples of such solutions that the university does not support in any way. For Apple products, you can use Apple's built in Find My app (for iOS 13/iPad OS/macOS 10.15 and above) or install the Find My iPhone app. On Android phones, many devices have Google's Find My Device app or you can install a third-party app like Prey. On Windows computers, you can enable Microsoft's Find My Device or install other free or commercial applications.
  • Ensure your device has current anti-virus software and all operating system and application updates are installed. Firewalls should be enabled if possible.
  • Physical locks and cables are available for laptops and may be available for some tablets.
  • Wipe or securely erase your data from the mobile device before disposing of it.

If Your Device is Lost or Stolen

  • Immediately call Campus Security at 253.879.3311 to report what was lost or stolen, from where, and whether it was a personal or university device. If you are away from campus, contact the local authorities.
  • If it is a university device or the device was used to access or store confidential university data, also notify Technology Services as soon as possible at 253.879.8585 or
  • If it is a personal device with an endpoint management tool, immediately lock the phone and gather location data if possible. If the device cannot be recovered, you can choose to remotely wipe the device to prevent unauthorized access to your information.
  • Change all passwords on any account accessed from the device. There may be account or password information stored in cookies or other files that are not obvious but may still be accessible.
  • If your device was not encrypted, change any passwords that may be stored in a file on the device. You should do this even if the device was not used to access those particular accounts directly.