Location Of Theft in AQUA BLUE
URL Of Linked Article In STEEL BLUE or GREEN
Full Content Of Article In BLACK
Theft Description In Body Of Article in RED

Monday, November 11, 2013


Keep yourself safe while protecting your computer

Photo Illustration (Ryan Kang/Emerald)
Photo Illustration (Ryan Kang/Emerald)
Posted by Graham Sprague on Monday, Nov. 4 at 1:50 am.
Everything was on it: the term paper due tomorrow, the recording of grandma’s birthday and those pictures of last summer’s crazy road trip. In a matter of seconds, it was gone. When you have your laptop or computer stolen, it seems to tear your life apart. Not just because of the personal and professional items on it, but because having something stolen is a violating feeling.
According to Allstate Insurance, laptops are the second most stolen item from university campuses behind band instruments. With the increase in use of technology, not only on college campuses but also around the country, more personal information and work is being put onto laptops and computers.
With incoming freshmen, a number of solutions are suggested and offered to those picking up a laptop for the very first time, especially at the Duck Store. Hanna Buden, the Digital Duck Team Leader, says that students don’t realize the easy options available to guard against theft.
According to Buden, it seems that the only people purchasing those locks are incoming freshmen and most students come in after their laptop has been stolen and have no idea how to get it or the information that was on it back.
“Unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of folks asking before the fact. It’s usually after something terrible has happened,” Buden said.
Sometimes, especially in a college town, students are a little too trusting of their surroundings when it comes to electronics. Brian Allen learned that the hard way. Allen was participating in an ASUO function encouraging students to vote during student elections. He left for class, leaving his computer with a friend who was using it for voter access. His friend ended up putting the computer in his car, located in the West University district. Someone broke into the car and made off with Allen’s laptop, as well as other electronics.
“Sadly, I never used a computer lock or anything like that,” Allen said. “And my new laptop doesn’t have a spot for the lock, so I can’t use one now.”
There is one thing, however, that Allen has built into his new laptop, something that UOPD is endorsing via The Duck Store. Allen has a GPS in his laptop. The Duck Store is selling a LoJack system similar to those installed in cars, which allows the IP address of the computer to be found if stolen. Kelly McIver, public information officer for the UOPD, said that while fewer than 30 laptops are stolen per year on average, less than 10 percent of those reported stolen are ever recovered.
“Law enforcement does recover laptops and other devices, but often can’t return the items to the rightful owners because the owners have not reported the theft with serial numbers or have identifying information etched onto the device,” McIver said.
McIver added that people should look into apps that help the police track stolen devices. He also suggested registering your laptop. Similar to the UOPD’s bike registration, the program asks for the make and model of the laptop, including the serial number and Wi-Fi address.
“Registering a device with us will allow the university to identify any stolen device that logs onto a UO network, and it also logs the identifying information with law enforcement, in case that device is recovered later,” McIver said.
Follow Graham Sprague on Twitter @ghsprague2.

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