Lost or Stolen Computers

Posted: April 13, 2016

Country music of the 1950’s and 60’s usually involved a lost dog and/or a girlfriend’s heart being stolen away by another. At Penn State in the 2016’s sometimes people in the college find that their computer has been lost, or their tablet has been stolen away by another. There are steps to take, and none involve a guitar and songwriting!

Bad things do happen to good people, and sometimes a Penn State owned computer goes missing.  Whether lost or stolen it is important to follow certain procedures to protect yourself and to protect the university when a Penn State owned computer/tablet/phone is no longer under your control.  We’ll highlight the process here, but this article is primarily intended to help you know and remember that there are steps to be taken in this situation and that AgIT is here to help with the details.

  • Change passwords!  Change your Ag password and your university password.  Then change any other password that has the slightest chance of having been stored on the computer – your banking password, personal e-mail accounts, credit card issuers, Google Docs, etc.
  • If the device was stolen, contact the police department that has jurisdiction where the computer was stolen – be sure to get the case/incident number from the police report.
  • Call AgIT!  Call your department’s AgIT Consultant, or call the HelpDesk at 814-865-1229.
  • AgIT will help you determine if there may be personally identifiable information (PII) on the missing computer.
  • Dell Computer has a website for reporting stolen computers – if it is a Dell product that has gone missing we’ll ask you to record it there.
  • AgIT will explore with you the possibility of using technology to locate the device and/or to remotely erase the data on the device.
  • You will have to report the missing device to your specific budget administrator in order to receive a stern look and to remove it from the university inventory.
  • We’ll help you to file reports with the Office of the Controller and the Office of Information Security.

A disappointing fact is that Penn State is self-insured and there will be no reimbursement for the loss or contributions toward its replacement.  Additionally you will not be authorized to file a claim on Penn State’s behalf against the loss from another insurance carrier.

Whether it is a dog or a heart or a computer or a smartphone that gets lost or stolen, AgIT is here to help!