Sometimes, our information doesn’t get stolen by cyber criminals but rather by common thieves as we go about our day. We store nearly EVERYTHING on our phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. What would be the consequences if someone were to steal your laptop which contains all sorts of sensitive data?
Below are a few ways you can assure your belongings will remain secure:

Track and Protect Your Device

If you have an iPhone (or most other Apple devices) you can track them through their GPS location using Apple's Find My iPhone. If you're on an Android device, you can track your phone through the Android Device Manager. These services will allow you to get an exact location, lock your device, and even wipe your device clean. This information can be helpful to the police. We don't recommend confronting a thief yourself!

Set A Password

Simple enough: Set a password for your devices. That will help your data stay safe. 

Restrict Your Info

If you are a student, faculty, or staff member, the University of Texas displays your contact information in its directory. If you have concerns about this, UT offers a dedicated page to restrict certain pieces of info you don't want others to see about you. Go here.


Scheduling regular backups can help you keep your important data intact and in a remote location, in the event of theft or infection you still have access to and can recover from your backup to pick up where you left off. Daily backups are recommended. Below are some resources for setting up and maintaining backups:


If you do lose your device, in order to help authorities locate it you can record the serial number and MAC address and store that information in a secure location like Stache. We do not recommend tracking the device yourself!

  • How to find your MAC address
  • For UT Students/Staff/Faculty - please contact the UT Police Department and file a police report for your stolen device.
    • Then, proceed to report it here with your case number.


Encryption is a way of transforming your data into an unreadable format that should only be deciphered by your password or passphrase. In the case that your device gets stolen, thieves can't simply view your files. Please read more about Encryption in our Privacy section.

When Studying

Physical security is important during finals and midterms at The University of Texas at Austin. Below are the top ten security tops when studying for finals. 
The top ten security tips when studying for finals at the PCL.