College Security Recommendations

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by skibumofvt, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. skibumofvt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #1
    Hello Everyone,

    I am attending the University of Utah this fall and living on campus in a dorm-room. What do you guys recommend for security? should I get some kind of insurance for theft and accidents? software if stolen? I have a 15" MBP, that I bought a couple weeks ago. Also what should I do with my lacie rugged 160gb external hard drive and my ipod touch when I'm not in my room?
     
  2. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #2
    You can start by simply always locking your room and making sure your roommate(s) do the same when they are not around.

    A security cable for locking your laptop both if you are planning to leave it or when using it in the library, etc.

    Don't leave your ipod and open where they can be picked up, put them in your drawer, and maybe take at least the iPod with you (since it is probably more of a target).

    Oh, and I would encrypt all files just in case.
     
  3. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #3
    Encrypting all files is going a little overboard, IMO.

    I bought a security cable, never used it. If you lock your room and you don't leave it alone in the library you'll be fine. Ask your insurance company what they offer--I was able to get insurance to cover my PB for something like $90/ year that covers everything--accidental damage, theft, fire, etc.
     
  4. rezenclowd3 macrumors 6502a

    rezenclowd3

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Undoing the work of Priuses: burning gas & rubber
    #4
    I recommend getting Lojack For Laptops

    Also, It might not hurt to turn on FileVault in System Prefs>Security. I never had a laptop stolen, but I did have a couple skateboards stolen when I was in College. For the price, buy a laptop security cable and remember to use it. Most college thefts are other students just jiggling the dorm room door handles. One happens to be unlocked? Poke your head in and pretend that you entered the wrong room if someone is in. If not, thieves can make a quick pass looking for high dollar items. This really is just common sense. Lock your valuables. A lost laptop is quite a bit of money AND time.
     
  5. dcx3 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    #5
    If you have a roommate - most likely they would have some of these products too. If they dont, then just use your common sense and what you feel should be done to protect your stuff, if you dont want it stolen then do your best to prevent it from happening.

    You can hide your iPod or HD in your dorm in places - places nobody should be looking (underwear drawer) idk lol.

    I am at college and dont have the security lock, but depending on your situation you may want it. Build trust with your roommate if you have one, and get their info haha, if something comes up missing, prosecute! :p
     
  6. psychotropic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #6
    skibumofvt:

    Glad to know there is a fellow UTAHN in the forum. A buddy of mine that lived in the dorms at the U and he never locked up his laptop or other electronics. Is your dorm room set up like a condo in that you have your own room but share the kitchen and bathroom? That's how his was and he made sure to lock his door and that was it. Best of luck in your studies!
     
  7. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #7
    Maybe, but the one time a hard drive or laptop is stolen, and the only thing on your mind will be whether they are reading your email, your quicken files, passwords, etc. Better to at least protect the home directory, and maybe move iTunes and movies to a non-encrypted space (which is what I do).

    IMHO :D
     
  8. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #8
    Agreed. Security cables are a pain in the ass. Just lock your door when you're not there and you'll be fine.
     
  9. Fenir macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    #9
    You should really look into undercover:

    http://www.orbicule.com/undercover/

    Like said above, always lock your door. Also, try to keep it somewhat hidden in your room in case of the worst scenarios.
     
  10. mox123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #10
    it would suck if you will have a roomie....i only had single dorm rooms for both undergrad and grad schools....maybe upgrading to a single room is cheaper than all the extra stuff and trouble you would have to spend and go through?
     
  11. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #11
    If you are a rich boy, then get a room by yourself and just lock the door.

    If you are like most college students, and intend on having a roommate, make sure you both lock the door and get a security cable to lock it down with in the event you don't 100% trust your roomie.

    The best thing to do is to take your iPod an MBP with you whenever you leave the room. They don't weigh that much and if you think they do then..... there's the gym.

    p.s. The HDD comes with a slot for security cables as well, but it's not that big of deal locking that up, since a 160GB drive isn't a key item.

    And Lojakc and Orbicle both have great software for retrieving a laptop when it's stolen, not for securing it.
     
  12. coastertux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    #12
    I recommend Undercover and a lock. You never know how many people have access to the extra keys, so I always kept my laptop locked in my dorm room and I still do in my apartment.
     
  13. skibumofvt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #13
    I have a roommate and another room that is connected through the bathroom has 2 other kids in it. So i think I'll pick up a lock and either of the two softwares. What's everybody's preferences on the computer tracking software?
     
  14. bern1812 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #14
    I just got Undercover tonight and stupid me accidentally sent out that my laptop was stolen because i thought the email they sent me wanted me to test it. Luckily i was able to email them before they put me on the list.

    I too will be in college next year and this gives me a little more peace of mind. I still want to get like a one drawer locking file cabinet to put valuables in though.

    From another thread about a guys security cable just ripping up the side of his laptop made me not want to get one of those. I saw at Kmart they have a security box with a keyed entry that was made to fit a 17" laptop and it has a locking cable, but it seemed like too much overkill for me.
     
  15. lhotka macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #15
    Through your regular insurance company (homeowners/renters - like State Farm) you can get a Floater policy on just about anything (they won't do iPods though - too much theft) that covers everything from theft to dropping it, to fire and flood (but not manufacturing defects). It's not much money at all.

    I'd also recommend AppleCare - between the two, you've got all bases covered.

    As for security, when I travel, I use a cable lock. Easy, quick, cheap, and it keeps honest people honest, but won't deter a determined thief (which is why I use encryption - see below). The only time it's out of my hands, or not locked up is in the x-ray machine at the airport - and I keep my eyes on it the whole time.

    If I were back in school in the dorms or an apartment, knowing how many master keys are floating around, I'd sure lock it up when I wasn't with it. My Compaq Portable II was too heavy to steal, but I put a padlock on it anyway :).

    As for encryption, FileVault flakes out with a bunch of things (including time machine). I create an encrypted disk volume, and store all my personal data there (disk utility is free, PGP works OK but costs > $100, and TrueCrypt is also an option that's free, but does some strange things with drivers). That includes moving some things out of ~/Library to it, and replacing them with symbolic links - Mail, iCal and address book are the biggies (and quicken if you use that).

    For backup, you can manually add the encrypted volume to time machine and have it back up the contents (which is what I do at home, with the drive secured) unencrypted, or for mobile backup, just copy over the entire encrypted volume.

    Since there's free options, and losing your identity can be catastrophic, my vote is absolutely yes, encrypt everything. PGP is about to release whole disk encryption, but they've had spotty quality on the Mac, so YMMV, but if it works, it's a damn simple solution to the problem.

    FWIW - part of my job is security architecture for large companies. I'm well aware of the frequency and impact of laptop theft.
     
  16. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    Up the irons
    #16
    Here's another little thing you can do:
     

    Attached Files:

  17. soundsleeper macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #17
    Newbie

    Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums and I'm not sure about where to post a question like this, But hopefully some of you could help.
    I recently purchased a MBP from another student at my University. About a month later there was a posting in the school newspaper about some MBPs that came up missing from their editing offices and if anyone had any information to please come forth with it. Im almost positive that i bought stolen property considering I paid half of the retail price on a practically new computer. He also seemed to have a couple of these on hand at the time. I'm starting school again in the fall and I'm anxious about putting my Mac to good use but I'm afraid of getting caught with stolen property while connecting to the schools wireless network. Would changing my MAC address be a way around this? If not does anyone have any suggestions? Appreciate the help.
    SS
     
  18. bamaworks macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #18
    Insurance is one of your best bets. Keeping the door locked, etc. Believe it or not most thefts occur when individuals go take a shower and don't lock the door, or leave to go the the restroom. I suppose the key is ALWAYS lock your door, no matter how short of time you'll be away, and that will go far to keep your stuff safe.
     
  19. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #19
    Pft, no , especially since it (your mac addy) is printed along with the serial number on the inside of the battery compartment.

    Good luck tho.

    BTW, for those considering insurance, I have my 2.5 penryn mbp insured through state farm for about 33 bucks with a bunch of extra's that i've put on the machine (InCase case etc).

    It was the "personal article insurance" but the papers i've recieved read strictly as fire insurance.

    Loss MBP? Burned It.
    Stolen MBP? Burned It.
    Dropped my MBP in a lake? Burned It.
     
  20. hipvamore macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    CT
    #20
    haha thats great dude. and it was 33 for what a month? or a year?
     
  21. rezenclowd3 macrumors 6502a

    rezenclowd3

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Undoing the work of Priuses: burning gas & rubber
    #21

    If you truly believe you bought stolen property, then do the right thing and contact the proper authorities ie campus security and possibly the editing offices from which you believe yours may have come from. If it truly is stolen, don't let the scumbag get away with selling stolen property.
     
  22. psychotropic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #22
    To the original poster...

    I would recommend looking into renters insurance its fairly cheap and worth the investment. I have my renters insurance through state farm and yesterday I went in to make my payment and spoke with my agent about the new computer that I am going to purchase (macbook whenever the update comes out). I asked if there was a policy specifically for my computer and she said that they have a policy that covers accidents, thefts, and some other things. She estimated that it would be around 35.00 a year. Cant go wrong with that price.
     
  23. soundsleeper macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #23
    -sigh-

    If you truly believe you bought stolen property, then do the right thing and contact the proper authorities ie campus security and possibly the editing offices from which you believe yours may have come from. If it truly is stolen, don't let the scumbag get away with selling stolen property.


    I'm almost positive the property is stolen but this scumbag, who has changed his number and will probably never be seen again, also got away with 800 dollars of my money, And if anything is for sure, I wont get any of that money back and I will be sh*# out of luck with no computer to use for school (I sold my old PC) and no money to get a new computer with. I realize the difference of what's right and wrong and what I SHOULD do in this situation, but to say the least I am absolutely torn in this situation, but i do appreciate everyones input.

    SS
     
  24. BlaqkAudio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #24
    You found a MBP for $800 and you didn't even stop once to think that it was stolen before buying it? These things go for $2000+ new. The only way someone in their right mind would sell an MBP for $800 was that it had major problems like heavy cosmetic damage, broken parts, etc.
     
  25. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #25
    *Twists blonde hair* or maybe like, if it was like, stolennnnn.......

    Oh, right. :p
     

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