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Recent Computer Thefts Require Increased Vigilance

Dec. 16, 2011

Multiple reports of the loss of laptop computers have been filed with the office of Safety and Security recently. The thefts have occurred in both single and multiple-use offices in several academic buildings on campus as well as public spaces. The incidents have been reported to the Oberlin Police Department and they are investigating the loss of property. Anyone having information about the loss of a computer, or who may be approached to purchase a used computer or computer accessories should report the information immediately to the office of Safety and Security at (440) 775-8444 or directly to the Oberlin Police Department at (440) 774-1061.

We urge all Oberlin College community members to consider additional precautions to ensure that their computers (and all small electronics and accessories) are secured either by physical locks, or by storing laptops in a locked cabinet, desk, or filing cabinet. Faculty and staff may benefit by taking their laptops home in the evening.

The Center for Information Technology has offered notebook locks, at no cost to faculty and staff, that may be picked up from the Oberlin Technology Store, 1-4:30PM weekdays. Locks may also be obtained by faculty and staff from the Safety and Security office after hours. Students can purchase these locks as well and are urged to use them when leaving their laptops unattended in the library, computer labs and other public spaces.

The loss of a computer results in not only the expense of replacing it and the work it contains, but also the potential exposure of private and confidential information, including passwords and access to banking and shopping web sites. Don't leave passwords stored on your computer!

Additional information on computer security can be found on CIT's website on the Security page.

Please contact Safety and Security at (440) 775-8444 if you have any questions or concerns, or notice any unusual activity. Contact the CIT Help Desk at (440) 775-8197 for additional assistance in securing your computer or data.