Physical Security

Why is physical security important?

  • To help prevent theft, loss, and unauthorized access
(Back to "How to Stay Secure" Page)

What should you do?

  • Physically secure laptop computers and mobile devices at all times: keep them with you or lock them up securely before you step away -- even just for a second. And make sure they are locked to or in something permanent.
    • Don't leave mobile devices unattended in public places.
    • Be especially careful with portable devices (such as laptop computers, mobile phones, memory sticks, CDs/DVDs/floppy disks). These items are extra vulnerable to theft or loss.
    • Some devices can be set to be erased remotely, or to erase themselves if the password/PIN is entered incorrectly too many times. Consider turning these on to protect information in the case of theft or loss. Be sure to back up your device regularly if you enable these features!
  • Password-protect all of your devices. Use a complex password and set the device to lock after a short period of inactivity.
  • Don’t leave sensitive information lying around, including on printers, fax machines, or copiers.
  • Use a paper shredder or secure shred bin when throwing out personal or sensitive information.
  • Be sure to lock up portable equipment and sensitive material before you leave them unattended -- or take them with you.
  • Secure your area before leaving it unattended: take keys out of drawers, close and lock windows, never share your access code, card or key, and don't hold secure doors open for people you don't know.
  • Set up your workstation so that unauthorized people and passers-by cannot see sensitive information on your monitor.
  • Securely delete all contents of computers and mobile devices, before discarding, exchanging, selling or donating them.

In the case of theft or loss:


Contact the ITS Support Center if you would like your computer configured to meet these requirements. If you have questions, contact the Support Center or your ITS Divisional Liaison.

(Back to "How to Stay Secure" Page)

Rev. Sept 2015