Owning a laptop carries with it a certain level of responsibility. When you are attending MIAD, you are responsible for all your belongings; be it art supplies, personal items, and of course your laptop. To ensure your laptop is safe, here are a few measures you can take:

Hardware anti-theft options:

  • When you are at MIAD, you are responsible for all of your belongings
    • You are in college, and that means you are an adult. MIAD is not responsible for any belongings you bring into this school, so make sure you know this and live by it.
    • Even if you’re just going to the bathroom, or running to the printer, your valuables are unsafe when unattended.
    • Place your laptop or other valuables in a locker or bring it with you when you leave your desk.
    • Purchase a tethered locking device
      • On every laptop there is a small hole placed there to attach a tethered locking device. Purchasing a lock and attaching it to your desk will allow you to leave it there with some degree of safety. Again, you should never leave your laptop alone for a long time, but the lock will help to keep it safer while you are away.

Kensington MicroSaver® Notebook Lock Bulk pack

  • Purchase a locking file cabinet
    • Most studio spaces in MIAD have enough room to keep a locking file cabinet. This way you can store valuables for a longer time, as they are not out in the open. File cabinets will not be provided by MIAD and are your responsibility. Again, MIAD will not be responsible for any items you bring into the building.
  • Purchase a Lo-Jack system
    • Lo-Jack is a way to track a stolen item such as a car or a laptop. This can be more expensive than a preventative measure, but it will help in the case that your property is taken.
    • PROJECT PREY is a free laptop software program (with premium availability) that can track your stolen laptop with some degree of accuracy, as well as activate your camera and take pictures of the thief. More information at
    • Prey Project
  • Personalize it!
      • Making your computer your own will not only deter theft, but help you retrieve your laptop if it is stolen. Using stickers and even better laser etching (available at Discovery World) will help make your laptop unique and harder to resell.

    painted macbook

    • Another personal touch is to password protect your laptop. Settings can be configured so that any time the laptop is opened, a password is required, making it almost impossible to use in anyone else’s hands.

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  • What happens if your laptop gets broken or stolen

    • If you want to be fully secure then purchasing insurance for your laptop may be the way to go. Depending on where you purchased your laptop you may have been offered an insurance plan of some kind. Some of these plans cover damage more so than theft. Depending on where the theft of your laptop takes place home owners insurance may also cover it.

Software safety options:

    • One of the easiest steps to keeping your work safe is to save often. Computers can have problems, so the more you save, the less likely you are to lose hours of intensive work.
  • Backup your entire computer on an external hard drive
    • There are many software programs available to backup your hard drive. Do this once a week, or more often during finals, or when working on many large projects at the same time. The best time to do this is in the overnight hours, while you are asleep.
      • Some hard drives are meant to stay at home on your desk, others are meant to be portable. Make sure you know which kind you need before purchasing. A “desktop” hard drive will not travel well, and may be damaged if moved often. However; a portable hard drive will usually not have as much space, or it will be more expensive.
    • There are also some websites that will backup your files to an online server. Do some research and make sure the company is reputable before using. You don’t want your files or personal information to fall into the wrong hands.
  • Passwords
    • Password protecting your computer during the log on or boot up stage is important, but choosing unique and easy to remember passwords is essential when using software and accessing the internet.
  • Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware Software
    • This is an important program to have whether you use a Mac or PC. PC’s normally have more of an issue with viruses from downloaded programs and files, but Macs are not 100% safe either. A simple program is usually installed when you purchase your computer, but you may find another programs works better for you. Do some research and don’t be afraid to spend some money. It will certainly help you to protect your personal information and your computer’s performance.
  • Be Smart!
    • Websites with questionable content or downloading and torrent sites may contain viruses and other malware. If your laptop’s safety and functionality are important to you, stay away from these sites, and think before you click any “download now” button. Do research before using any free software. Get user ratings, or visit message boards that discuss free software programs. Remember; your laptop is your responsibility, so make sure you are in charge of what programs and files you are installing.

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