Protect from Theft

Device theft

Protect from Theft


Protect from theft, loss or breakage

We must not make it easy for our devices to be stolen, or to lose our valuable information if the device breaks.

Protect the physical security of of your computers, devices and sensitve documents. (For example do not leave them by the coat hangers at the restaurant door.)

Physical security is also about protection of your data even if the device is broken.

If you have backups, you can get the data back. If your device is encrypted, you can be sure that it’s data cannot be misused.


Physical security of your devices.

For desktop computers, the physical security of its location is important. Make sure your office is locked when unattended. Make sure the windows are secure enough to prevent theft.

For mobile computers and smartphones and tablet devices, make sure you keep them safe when in cafes or when in transit. Such devices are easily and often stolen, or easily left behind and lost.


Encryption protects you if you lose your device

If you do lose a device, or it is stolen the two most important preparations you need to have made are:

  1. that it is backed up regularly, or at least of all the important data on it
  2. that you had encrypted it, so whatever happens you are sure no-one can access its data

For mobile devices that support remote-wipe, we also recommend that you work out how to do a remote-wipe (ideally you should have tried this out as a kind of “fire drill”), and that you remote wipe it as soon as you are able.



Having a regular backup regime is important if (unfortunately) your computer is broken, stolen or lost.

How backups protect information

Accidents happen. You never know when a device will break, or get lost.

Whether a file or device is encrypted or not, if  lose it, you will be happy that you have an effective backup scheme.

How to set up automated backups at work

Check out this guide for how to backup up work using the University’s OneDrive.

Keep your backups up to date

It is always the most recent files you are using that are most important , and that you are most likely to lose. This is why it is important that your backups are regular. It is best if you make your backups automatic. Follow the link above.

Backups at home

Backups protect your own information in the same way as for work.  Try to ensure that you keep copies of important files, pictures etc in more than one secure location or device.

Keep them up to date and check them regularly to make sure that you can still access them. If the worst thing happens and you lose your main storage, you will be able to get the information back.

Make sure you always have a copy of files you cherish on at least more than one storage device.

It is almost certain that one device will break, or cease to work at some point, or that you will accidentally delete or lose a file.