Laptop Loss or Theft

If your laptop, tablet, or smart phone has been lost or stolen, there are ways of mitigating the loss and steps you should follow, including remotely wiping data where possible. Advance preparation can lessen the impact and potentially help in getting your device returned to you.

If your personal or Tufts managed/owned device has been lost or stolen, immediately:

  1. If stolen, file a police report with the local police station. 
  2. If the device contained or had access to any Tufts information or applications, including email, contact the Tufts IT Service Desk at (617) 627-3376 or email
  3. For Tufts-managed devices, you are required to also contact the Tufts University Policy Department (TUPD) at (617) 627-3030.

To minimize the impact of your device getting lost or stolen, consider doing these things:

  1. Protect your device:  Make sure you configure both of these items:
    • Enable your device to requires a password to access it, and
    • Turn on or install full hard disk encryption.
    • Note: Your password should be strong and not written down on or near your device.
  2. Save your Data: Routinely back up your device and use secure cloud storage for documents. Your goal is to ensure you don’t lose any critical information.
  3. Identify your device: To facilitate getting your device back, label your device.
    • If you are comfortable with using your personal information, you can label it with your name and contact information. 
    • Consider a permanent solution that also protects your name and contact info, such as the Security Tracking of Office Property (STOP) program.  It can help both with deterring theft and facilitating getting your property back. Devices are marked with a "STOP plate," which includes a unique bar code, "stolen property" tattoo, and the STOP phone number and website. A single STOP plate kit costs $25 (some are available for free through TUPD) and can protect your device for as long as you own it.  For more information go to the Personal Property Security website.
  4. Enable Remote Wiping of your device: To increase chances you can find your device or remotely delete (wipe) all information on your device, you need to configure these services in advance.
    • For Apple devices: If you configure “Find my Mac” or “Find my iPhone,” you have a chance of finding and/or removing data from your Apple devices once lost or stolen.  Go to the Apple support site and look up the instructions for your specific device on how to set this up. If your device goes missing, you can use to locate the device on a map, play a sound so you can find it, lock it, or remotely erase everything on the device.
    • For Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, etc.: In advance, install software such as Prey or Absolute LoJack.  The software will not do anything until you activate it, at which time it will send reports with the current location, screenshot, and webcam pictures. When you access the Prey control panel (from any device), you can alert your computer to display a screen stating it is stolen, make noise, or shut down.