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MIT Libraries Staff Web

Administrative Services Policies: Laptop Security

Laptops for MIT Libraries staff use

All staff who are issued laptops will be given a copy of the staff guidelines.The guidelines include procedures required by Institute insurance and additional procedures recommended by the Libraries.

MIT's insurance will replace a laptop only if it was secured by two anti-theft devices at the time it was stolen. Examples: a laptop stored in a locked drawer within a locked office; a laptop locked in a home with a home security system turned on; a laptop locked in a safe in a locked hotel room

MIT's insurance will also cover in full laptops stolen during an assault.

In all other instances, a deductible will apply to lost or stolen laptops. If the staff member followed the Libraries' recommendations as stated in the guidelines, the Libraries' general operating budget will cover the cost of the deductible. If s/he has not followed these recommendations, the department head has the option of paying the deductible, or having the laptop replaced by a PC.

Staff guidelines for laptop use

By receiving this laptop you accept responsibility for safeguarding it while it is signed out to you. Please take the following precautions:

  • When leaving your workspace overnight, store your laptop in a locked drawer or cabinet.
  • If you have a private office, close and lock the door if you leave during the day.
  • If you take your laptop home, be sure to lock all doors when you go out. If you have a home security system, be sure it is on when you leave.
  • If you are staying in a hotel, lock your laptop in a safe if your room has one. If no safe is available, lock your laptop in a suitcase when you go out.
  • Keep laptop in your sight when going through airport checkpoints. Many travelers find it helpful to tape their business card to their laptops. This will help you identify your laptop in airport security.
  • If you are traveling by car, lock your laptop in the trunk when you park.
  • Do not use the computer in locations that might increase likelihood of damage.
  • Keep food and drinks away from the computer.
  • Purchase a padded carrying case for your laptop.


If the laptop is stolen during an assault, or if it is damaged or stolen despite your having followed the guidelines listed above, it will be replaced with another laptop. In this case the Libraries' general operating budget will pay any portion of the cost not covered by the Institute's insurance. If the laptop is damaged or stolen and the above procedures were not followed, either your department will assume responsibility for the insurance deductible; OR your laptop will be replaced with a PC.

Reporting loss or theft

Report damaged or stolen equipment as soon as possible to: Grace Mlady (gmlady@mit.edu), Administrative Services. She will report stolen equipment to MIT Police handle claims for insurance and replacement. If the theft occurred outside MIT, you must report the theft to the local police and obtain a police report.