Protect Property

If you have valuable or sensitive data on your laptop, we hope you take these security measures.

  • Personal property should be marked with your Driver License number preceded by state abbreviation. 
  • Keep record of the serial number of your property.
  • There are many laptop tracking software programs available

You can also further secure your items by keeping laptops and other peripherals locked down with quality hardware (cable locks, lockdown devices, storage cabinets).

Although no office or home is completely safe from theft, you can improve the chances of recovering stolen property. 


You may borrow an engraver from UCPD to engrave identifying information on your laptop and other peripherals on the top or front side.

  • Keep an updated inventory of all office, lab, and home equipment.
  • Identify your personal property by engraving your Driver's License number followed by the abbreviation for the state of issue.
  • Use an engraver to identify University property.

If you would like to check out an engraver, contact the UCPD - Records Division at (510) 642-6760.

Commercial software products are available which can track a laptop's location through its connections to the Internet. Install and activate the software when the laptop is in your control, and it will be useful if a theft occurs.

Some laptop models purchased from Dell, Lenovo (IBM), HP, and other manufacturers may have Absolute Software's Computrace, which embeds a tracking agent in the BIOS. The tamper-resistant agent remains active even if the hard drive is reformatted or replaced.

Protect data

If a laptop is stolen, the loss of control of data could be just as disruptive as the loss of property. UCPD offers these recommendations to prevent laptop thefts, aid in the recovery of lost or stolen laptops, and control access to sensitive data.

The first line of defense in safeguarding sensitive data is to remove all unessential data from the laptop. If you must store sensitive data on your laptop, use encryption techniques to protect it. Many vendors offer encryption solutions. Utimaco Inc. and Absolute Software (Computrace) have partnered so their security solutions are compatible.

Computrace™ can further assure security by making it possible to remotely delete data on a protected laptop that has left your control. This data removal can be targeted at the file, directory and operating system levels. Computrace meets U.S. Department of Defense (short) standards for data removal.

Chancellor Birgneau's Message on Personal Data Security initiated an effort to define the method for appropriately encrypting data. The work to establish procedures is ongoing by UCOP.

Please review these sites for more information

*UCPD does not endorse specific vendors for anti-theft devices, hardware, or software.