How to make device security in educational institutions unbreakable

Nearly 97% of U.S. college students have a cellphone, and 79% own a laptop. That’s a lot, right? Problem is that both devices are a very attractive loot for campus thieves – 4.5 million smartphones were lost or stolen in the United States in 2013 – and who’s responsible for computer security in educational institutions? Yeah, you, the IT avenger.

So, what are you going to do about it? Sorry, calling S.H.I.E.L.D. for backup is too expensive. But there are some essential tips that you can consider to improve campus and device security. Check them out.

Laptop registration with campus safety

It could sound too obvious, but it is not. Many educational institutions in the United States still don’t have a laptop registration on campus. If you already have it, forget what we’ve said. But if you don’t… go get those serial numbers to create your own laptop database, it would be very useful for security guys to recover a stolen laptop. Trust us.

Use geofencing

One of the coolest services around if you ask me. You CAN not only monitor and identify where in the world your device is if it has been stolen, but it also allows IT avengers to determine virtual boundaries for certain devices. For example, Science unit laptops can only be used within the science campus, so if Dr. Banner tries to trespass that limit carrying an institutional laptop, an alarm and a customized safety procedure will be immediately activated (now, if you want to upset him… that’s your problem, dude!)

Install a data recovery software

Data is more essential than devices. But through institutional laptops anyone could access your strategic data, so seriously consider installing a recovery data software so you have a secure backup of all that scientific, academic, strategic and innovative information that you must protect.

Remember that great power comes with great responsibility.

Two factor authentication

Passwords are good, but not enough. Laptops should also use biometrics or signature capture, in addition to the standard name and password login, EdTech says. This could also be helpful for institutional desktop computers and printers. It works very well as a dissuasive factor, although it won’t prevent Mystique from getting your devices.

Remote blocking

Look into getting a service that can remotely block access to your stolen device: that way, even if you don’t retrieve it, you’ll make sure no one has access to your private stuff, even if you’ve shared your password with someone. And speaking of passwords, don’t hold your breath, it’s also possible to remotely delete any stored passwords you may have kept to log in easier.

Ok. Now you can call the big guys. Don’t forget to save a parking spot for Tony.

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Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi is the head of mobile research at Prey, Inc., provider of the open source Prey Anti-Theft software protecting eight million mobile devices. Nic’s work explores technology innovations within the mobile marketplace, and their impact upon security. Nic also serves as Prey’s communications manager, overseeing the company’s brand and content creation. Nic is a technology and contemporary culture journalist and author, and before joining Prey held positions as head of indie coverage at TheGameFanatics, and as FM radio host and interviewer at IndieAir.